On Wednesday 26 March 2014, the Senate referred the following matter to the Community Affairs References committee for inquiry and report.
The Terms of Reference are:
The out-of-pocket costs in Australian healthcare, with particular reference to:
- the current and future trends in out-of-pocket expenditure by Australian health consumers;
- the impact of co-payments on:
- consumers’ ability to access health care, and
- health outcomes and costs;
- the effects of co-payments on other parts of the health system;
- the implications for the ongoing sustainability of the health system;
- key areas of expenditure, including pharmaceuticals, primary care visits, medical devices or supplies, and dental care;
- the role of private health insurance;
- the appropriateness and effectiveness of safety nets and other offsets;
- market drivers for costs in the Australian healthcare system; and
- any other related matter.
Submissions were sought by 26 June 2014. The reporting date was 16 July 2014. On 16 June 2014, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 8 August 2014. On 8 August 2014, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 22 August 2014.