Public vs Private Healthcare in Australia


What is the best model for health care delivery in Australia? We’re a country that has a unique interplay between public and private healthcare funding and delivery. We are a country that is built on the idea of giving everyone a ‘fair go’; is our current model of two-tiered healthcare succeeding in this?


Dr Tim Woodruff

Dr Tim Woodruff is President of the Doctors Reform Society. The society is an organisation of doctors and medical students whose aim is to support health care reforms, which ensure justice, equity and quality care for all regardless of social or economic status. It formed in1974 to support the introduction of the original universal health scheme (Medibank) and has continued to advocate for improvements in the health system, particularly in relation to equity issues. Dr Woodruff is a Tasmanian born and breed specialist physician working in private rheumatology practice in Melbourne. He joined the Doctors Reform Society in 1997. He has been a strong advocate for addressing the inequities in the health system particularly at a structural and system level.

Associate Professor Lesley Russell

Dr Lesley Russell is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney. Her research interests include healthcare reform in Australia and the United States, mental health, Indigenous health, addressing health disparities and health budget issues. Dr Russell has substantial experience working in health policy in the United States and Australia, both in and out of government. She holds a PhD in biochemistry from the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University.

Dr Linda Swan

As the Chief Medical Officer for Medibank Private, Linda is uniquely positioned to support healthcare reform that can improve health outcomes, patient experience and the affordability of healthcare for all Australians. She is committed to applying evidence and insights from clinical practice to encourage continued improvement in our health system. Linda’s experience in a broad range of senior executive roles has shaped her understanding that a collaborative approach is required to effectively implement change in our health system and that sound governance is required to ensure the intended outcomes of health reform are realised. As well as her CMO role with Medibank, Linda is a member of the Australian Digital Health Agency Safety and Quality Governance Committee and a board member of the Australian College of Sports and Exercise Physicians.