Health Sector Must Seize Reform Opportunity
24 September 2015 at 10:27 am
Ongoing Commonwealth Government processes to reform the Federation and the tax system must be used to improve Australia’s health system, according to sector leaders at a recent Think Tank on Sustainable Funding of Public Hospitals in Brisbane.
“In an environment of fiscal restraint and ever present demand for hospital services there is widespread recognition of the importance of better integrated care across sectors in the health system,” AHHA Senior Research Leader, Dr Linc Thurecht, said in a conference communique.
“The Reform of the Federation process provides a rare opportunity to re-examine how patient care is provided across all points of contact within the health system.”
The Think Tank organised by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association brought together more than 100 health leaders to discuss ways to ensure the durability and sustainability of funding for public hospitals in the future.
“While the need to increase funding to the health sector has been telegraphed to the community in the context of an ageing population, increased community expectations and the ever increasing costs of new medical technology, there remains still the opportunity to achieve more with what we already have,” Dr Thurecht said.
“Ensuring value with healthcare, providing integrated care across the patient journey funded by regionally based bodies as a single fund holder, is an effective way to realise these goals.”
One of the major topics discussed at the Think Tank was the need to coordinate care across health sectors, providing value in healthcare, regional commissioning of integrated and patient-centred healthcare and the necessity of ensuring whichever tier of government was given responsibility for health services was able to provide durable, sustainable funding.
AHHA Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven welcomed the discussion at the Think Tank as a step forward in helping the health sector adapt to current challenges including an ageing population and a growing burden of chronic and complex disease.
“Governments and health administrators grappling with budget challenges must seize the opportunity to reform financing and payment models to ensure Australians continue to receive high quality, affordable and accessible healthcare,” Verhoeven said.
The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is the national peak body for public and Not for Profit hospitals and community and primary healthcare services.
To read the Communique on Sustainable Funding for Public Hospitals, click here.