Bupa has been awarded the contract to provide an integrated health care system to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) following the decision to move on from Medibank Health Solutions.
The arrangement will see Bupa deliver a range of primary and specialist health services at both on-base health facilities and through its network of service providers.
“Delivering health services to over 80,000 ADF members and reservists is a complex and important undertaking and after a rigorous procurement process, Bupa demonstrated it is able to deliver Defence’s requirements,” Minister Christopher Pyne said.
“Under the new contract, ADF members will continue to receive the full scope of health services they currently receive. Defence remains committed to maintaining continuity of care in delivering high quality health services for ADF members,” he added.
Bupa chief executive Richard Bowden welcomed ADF’s decision to task the company with “supporting the provision of end to end health care to Defence personnel”.
In a statement he said, “This complements the care we provide for more than five million Australians every day as both a health insurer and care provider through our dental, optical, audiology and medical assessment clinics.”
The contract commences on 1 July 2019.
In November 2018, the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists (ASO) expressed concern at the likelihood of the contract being awarded to Bupa.
ASO President Dr Peter Sumich said there was strong feeling within the medical community that healthcare for our diggers should not be insurer-led.
“The problems with incumbent provider Medibank Health Solutions were real. Service provision was clunky and disjointed due to contract disputes and restrictive referral arrangements,” said Dr Sumich.
Our diggers – like all patients – deserve medical care that is doctor-led and therefore responsive to individual health need rather than finance-driven. Bupa is a profit driven multi-national who will also have their eyes on the bottom-line,” said Dr Sumich.1