It is safe to say that 2020 was a year unlike any other and many of us are looking forward to 2021 with the anticipation of a potential vaccine on the horizon for COVID-19.

Like you, Queensland Country has had to overcome some unique challenges in 2020 which, although difficult at the time, have set us up to meet 2021 with renewed optimism and vigor.

One of the things that 2020 highlighted was the importance of private health insurance and the private hospital system to the Australian health industry. As public hospital waiting lists for elective surgery continue to blow out, it is reassuring to know that as a Member of Queensland Country you are able to avail yourself of medical advice and procedures in a timeframe that is acceptable to you. There has never been a more important time to have health insurance and Queensland Country is right here when you need us.

2021 will see Queensland Country continue to invest in its business and the communities in which we operate. We will be increasing our investment in our Mobile App and hope to be able to deliver an even faster claims processing experience and the ability to use digital cards. I am also very pleased to announce an extension of our dental services in Mount Isa with a new dentist, Elchèrü Hepburn, who started at the practice early January. Elchèrü is a local and she is looking forward to giving back to the Mount Isa community. She joins the team lead by Dr Tia Riggs and we are sure that both Members and non-Members will take advantage of our expanded services.

Every month we treat nearly 1,200 Members across our three dental practices. Each practice prides themselves on providing excellent quality dental care at an affordable price to both Members and non-Members. In addition to this, our Queensland Country Health Fund Members with extras cover receive no or low out-ofpocket expenses on preventive and diagnostic treatments with check ups and scale and cleans. If you live in Mackay, Mount Isa or Townsville and have not experienced our dental practice services, I encourage you to do so for your next dental check-up.

At our AGM last November our long-term Chairperson, Michael Beard, retired from his position. He will, however, remain on the Board for another year. Michael has been a wonderful representative for the Health Fund over his many years with us and we wish him all the best as he heads towards retirement from the Board. Former Deputy Chair, Karen Read, will step into the Chairperson position and will be joined by our new Deputy Chair, Greg Nucifora. Our team look forward to working with Karen and Greg in 2021 and beyond.

We remain committed to providing the very best service and value for money for all our Members and we look forward to a rewarding 2021. Thank you for being a Member and placing your trust in us.

Healthy Regards,

Glenn Seri Executive Manager