Recent Survey Shows Positive Business Conditions on Australia’s Health Services Sector [Interview][Transcript]

cameron_fuller_nhciGuest: Cameron Fuller
Presenter: Patrick Reyes
Guest Bio: Cameron Fuller is Acting Executive General Manager of Specialised Banking at NAB and holds over 16 years’ experience as a banker focusing on the health sector. In his role at NAB, he leads a team of specialist bankers who support clients in the broader health industry including dentists, GPs and allied health professionals with regards to business banking and finance solutions.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, we are joined by NAB Executive General Manager Specialised Banking Cameron to discuss the results of their recent NAB Quartery Business Surveys that shows positive business conditions in the past six months. Australians are choosing to spend more on their health, and Australian health practices are reporting positive business conditions in the past six months, according to two new reports on Australia’s health services sector released by NAB Health and Medfin. Based on transactions made through NAB’s health claims and payment processing system, HICAPS, the NAB Health Consumption Indicator (NHCI) grew nationally by 3.4%, year-on-year in the September quarter 2016.

Health Professional Radio – Positive Business Conditions on Australia’s Health Services Sector

Patrick Reyes: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio, my name is Patrick Reyes and on today’s show we have Cameron Fuller. He is the NAB Executive General Manager, Specialised Banking and he’s here to talk about recent findings following a report on Australia’s health services sector. Welcome to the show Cameron.

Cameron Fuller: Thank you Patrick.

P: Thank you. Go ahead and give the audience a little bit of what you do and where you do it.

C: Yes, thanks Patrick. So as you said executive general manager, specialised banking at National Australia Bank which includes NAB Heath which is a business that supports the broader health industry. We bank about 30 thousand health practitioners: dentists, GPs, physios, allied health with regards to their business banking and finance needs.

P: Alright. So there was a survey done, it was the NAB or Medfin Health Practitioner Survey. Can you tell us what the objective of the survey was?

C: Yes, thanks Patrick. Actually there were 2 reports that were released about Australia’s health service sector, one is our inaugural NAB Health Practitioner Survey for our Medfin Business and the other was actually our NAB Health Consumer Indicator, so I’ll talk about both of those. NAB Health Consumer Indicator which is based on transactions made through NAB health claims and payment processing system HICCAPS provides unique insight into Australian health source spending for patient care and it shows us that it grew by 3.4% year on year in this September quarter. So basically it’s showing at this positive spending happening in our allied health services which is higher than the broader economic growth. In addition, the health practitioner survey is found at across the overall industry, the optimism is high for Aussie health practitioners, reporting positive business confidence in the last 6 months and more importantly business confidence is higher, the general confidence in the business community for the next 6 months. This is a really good time for the sector and actually also reflects what I hear when I go out and talk to our customers out in the field about their health practitioners, it’s a really good time for business in health.

P: Alright and it’s more specific to health practitioners as it benefits them?

C: Yeah, that’s right. It’s specific to health practitioners so we’re talking for example dental practitioners, and smaller firms actually felt the most confident in relation to areas like staffing while larger practices and other practitioners such as hospitals, optometry, physiotherapy outperformed in terms of thousand profitability. So the overall high confidence, it does very a little bit amongst different sorts of health practitioners.

P: So let’s get more into about NAB health. What is it that NAB health does?

C: So NAB health has about 30 thousand health customers and national survey being a bank we provide solutions to those customers on their banking needs, their wealth management needs, their transactional account needs and really what we’re wanting to do is help the customer or the medical practitioner from the time they’re a student, a time when they’re looking to start up their practice, to grow their practice to time we’re looking to… their practice and how they manage their future…so really through the life cycle of the customer we’re there to support with the various practices and services that we are able to offer and provide and help the field, the growth that they can enjoy.

P: Now among your customers, what would you say is the biggest misconception that they may have?

C: Most of customers in relation to at National Australia Bank is we just do lending, we actually do a lot more than lending and as per our broader motto we’re about more than money, we really want to help our customers with their transactional banking, with their point of sales systems with the HICCAPS solution which is a proprietary NAB product whether it’s with insurance to give them protection around their lending or around their assets it’s around making sure we’re looking at the whole picture of the client whether that’s wealth management needs, lending needs, transactional needs and really helping them grow in their business be the best there can be not just try and get the loan to them, we actually try to do a lot more than that. We actually grow with them because their success is our success.

P: Alright and now for our listeners out there, what the message you’d like to leave them as being part of Health Professional Radio?

C: The message is really that National Australia Bank is particularly into the health industry. We bank a large portion of it with Australia’s biggest bank that deals into the sector and the course that we’ve done as well as listening to our customers tell us that it’s really good time for this sector, it’s growing greater than the general economic growth of the nation that the customers themselves reporting positive business conditions as evidenced through our surveys plus evidence when we go out and talk to them. It’s a really good time to be growing your business and to be in the health business and obviously we want to help that growth and more than happy to continue to be on that journey with the health care industry.

P: Why are the two reports – the NAB Health Practitioner Survey and the NAB Health Consumer Indicator – how are those relevant to health professionals?

C: They’re relevant to health professionals because they’re tracking, one is tracking…that’s the Health Consumer Indicator, it’s actually tracking the dollar spend that’s going through the payment and processing system called HICCAPS as providing unique insight which we have as a click through that information into Australian household spending for patient care services for practitioners such as speech pathologists, ophthalmologists, dentists, physiotherapists, etc. they all use HICCAPS and it shows that spending is actually growing greater than the general economy and the Health Practitioners Survey is a survey of practitioners so it’s what they’re telling us that they’re feeling in seeing out there in their world which is a level of confidence.

P: Alright. It’s been a pleasure talking to you today Cameron, thank you for joining us.

C: Thank you Patrick. Thanks for the opportunity.

P: Now you’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Patrick Reyes and we’ve been in studio with Cameron Fuller, the Executive General Manager, Specialised Banking at NAB. As we talked about the recent findings following a report on Australia’s Health Services Sector. Transcript and audio of this program are available at and also at and you can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.

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