Westfund Health Insurance has come a long way since its humble beginnings. As early as 1881, the Vale of Clwydd Lodge corresponded with the Bathurst Hospital in regard to a bed being set aside for its members. A more formal approach was adopted in 1919 with miners and other workers in Lithgow establishing the Industrial Contribution Scheme (ICS) to fund workers’ access to Lithgow Hospital. The NSW Public Hospital Act was later initiated in 1929 and the Premier of NSW legislated that ambulance officers and a doctor were to be readily accessible at all mining sites. The wages for these doctors and ambulance officers were provided through payroll deductions that mining unions collected on behalf of their members.
These arrangements continued until 1953 when Dr Earle Page, a Country Party stalwart, introduced voluntary health insurance to be supported by subsidising hospital and medical fees under the National Health Act. This fund was then registered as the Western District Mine Workers Medical Benefits Fund – today’s Westfund.
Westfund Health Insurance now provide great value health cover for families and individuals throughout regional Australia.