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What does Amplar Health’s new Group Lead have in store for the organisation?

5 Mar 2024, by Amy Sarcevic

In November 2023, Robert Read joined Amplar Health during a busy period of growth for the organisation.

In the year leading up to his appointment, the organisation delivered more than 1.6 million virtual health interactions.

Meanwhile, the My Home Hospital initiative – delivered by the Calvary Amplar Health Joint Venture on behalf of SA Health – expanded to accommodate 160 health conditions.

Taking this growth in his stride, Mr Read is excited about what is in store for the company and the broader healthcare landscape.

So what exactly is his focus?


As part of Amplar Health’s longstanding mission to ensure Australians live better lives for longer, Mr Read is investing heavily in prevention.

Alongside the management of chronic conditions, the company is keen to influence broader change in the healthcare space.

Here, its recently cemented partnership with digital health provider, Amwell, is proving pivotal.

“Our partnership is focussed on hybrid prevention programs,” Mr Read said. “Although Australian healthcare is the envy of many globally, there is still significant opportunity to improve how it is delivered – and we believe hybrid is the way forward.

“Technology can bridge the gap between current resources and desired outcomes. With virtual aids, individuals can set personal health goals and make positive lifestyle changes that are sustained over time. This is crucial in a system where the top ten chronic conditions contribute to 66 percent of the total burden of disease.”

Amplar Health is Medibank’s health service delivery company and it, too, is keen on driving progress in the prevention space.

“Medibank could complain about the challenges surrounding Australia’s disease burden, or demand reform. Even better, it could lead the change it wants to see – and this is exactly what it is now doing, in conjunction with Amplar,” Mr Read said.

Primary Care

Amplar is also expanding into primary care and recently increased its investment in Myhealth – a collection of GP Practices throughout Sydney. But, it is not just physical growth defining its efforts in this space.

“We have a broader vision about how we can evolve primary care to match the health burden we are all facing. We are trying to challenge traditional patient rehabilitation models and look for more efficient ways to deliver primary care,” Read said.

New models of care

Alongside short stay hospital programs – which support clinically appropriate patients to recover in the comfort of their own home – Amplar is diving into the realm of mental health.

“New models of care in mental health are really important to better support patients after discharge from hospital.

“We’ve explored data around private mental health consumers and found that helping people transition back to community settings after their hospital stay can go a long way.

“This support has already led to positive feedback from patients. So it’s important we continue this momentum and strive for ongoing improvement.”

Virtual Hospitals

Expanding virtual hospital delivery in Australia is also a continued focus for Read, given its positive impact on patients.

“We know that healthcare users love the convenience of their surroundings, where they can take care of their pets, and where they aren’t restricted by visiting hours.

“What we have also found is that home based care means lower rates of hospital-acquired complication and fewer readmissions.”

Alongside its foray into new disease types, the program is being refined to support higher acuity patients.

“We can now safely accommodate acute day-two transplant patients from the comfort of their home. Monitoring, intravenous drips, etc. – all of that can now be managed virtually.”

Mr Read sees expanding virtual hospitals as an imperative in the current fiscal environment. “Keeping up with Australia’s projected disease burden would require a new hospital to be built every month in some states, which obviously isn’t feasible,” he said.

While he is confident virtual hospitals can offer relief, he admits there are challenges in scaling. “You need the right systems and logistics, which we have, along with national capability, to get efficiencies. These challenges have made it difficult for other health systems to adopt.”

Further insight

Talking more about Amplar’s priorities for the coming year and lessons learned from its previous expansion efforts, Peter Baird from Amplar Health will present at the upcoming National Telehealth Conference.

This year’s conference is one of three to be delivered at Connect Virtual Care on 7-8 March 2024 at the Hilton Sydney.

Co-located at the event are Hospital in the Home 2024 and the Medication Safety & Efficiency Conference 2024.

Learn more and register your place here.

About Amplar Health

Amplar Health is driven by a desire to make health personal. It works collaboratively with government, businesses and not-for-profits to deliver health solutions for people across Australia.

Amplar Health is a business of Medibank Health Solutions Pty Ltd and part of the Medibank Group. It is committed to reforming healthcare delivery in response to the needs of Australians and to help ensure the sustainability of the Australian healthcare system.

About Robert Read

As Group Lead of the Amplar Health Team, Robert Read oversees Medibank’s growing role as a health services provider.

He is responsible for the health services Amplar Health delivers on behalf of its health insurance business as well as to customers in the private and public sector. These include prevention programs, telehealth, in-home care, and our healthcare investments across short stay hospitals and primary care.

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