’20k jobs at risk’: government seeks interest in claims processing

Is the Department of Health moving to privatise Medicare, Veterans’ Affairs and PBS claim processing? The union calls it a “nasty, sneaky” move to sack 20,000 public servants.

The Community and Public Sector Union fears the loss of 20,000 public service jobs as a result of moves to privatise some of the functions run by the Department of Human Services — with no official word to the public servants likely to be sacked.

An advertisement published today in The Australian Financial Review seeking private sector expressions of interest to run the Medicare, Pharmaceutical Benefit Schemes and Department of Veterans’ Affairs payment and claims systems has the union concerned that the work, currently undertaken by Human Services, will be fully privatised.

The Department of Health’s ad said the Medicare and PBS claims involve the annual movement of $29 billion as a result of 600 million individual transactions, which has experienced steady growth over the last three years. For DVA, there are more than $2 billion in claims moved annually as a result of more than 33 million transactions:

“We are seeking dynamic and innovative commercial solutions capable of providing these claims and payment services with a high degree of efficiency and integrity and which are adaptive and responsible to ongoing changes to the underpinning policies aimed at improving Australia’s health system.”

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