NFP Claims the Message from Voters is Health Matters
5 July 2016 at 10:43 am
In the wake of the tight election results the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) has called for cooperation on health claiming the voters have spoken.
The peak body claims there has been a clear message from voters that primary health, hospitals and Medicare matter.
AHHA chief executive Alison Verhoeven said that whatever the final composition of Australia’s next government, health needs to be a national priority.
“Health is a national priority for the Australian people and it must be a priority for our elected representatives,” Verhoeven said.
“It is not sensible for political leaders to dismiss reasonable concerns from voters about the adequacy of public hospital funding and the ever-increasing out of pocket costs for healthcare.”
Verhoeven said defensive claims coming from the Coalition camp about a Medicare scare campaign were not helpful.
“The Coalition must recognise that three years of disjointed health reviews and reforms, alienation of key stakeholder groups, and significant cuts to funding felt right across the sector and particularly by patients, have given voters cause to doubt whether it can deliver the health system they want,” she said.
“Strong Commonwealth leadership is required to ensure equitable, accessible and affordable healthcare for all Australians, regardless of how much money they have or where they live.
“Issues such as greater cooperation between the Commonwealth and the states and territories on hospital funding, preventive care, a strong primary care sector, better integration of primary and acute care, and better use of health data, are central to the provision of the high quality healthcare Australians need.”
Verhoeven said there were lessons to be learned from the past three years that the Commonwealth must work with service providers, professionals and the community as it seeks budget savings to ensure that access to universal quality healthcare is not eroded.
“Uncertainty around sustainable, long-term funding for the health system must end,” she said.
“Whichever party forms government must work with all stakeholders to ensure certainty for public hospital funding beyond 2020, and to strengthen the primary care sector, both in terms of payment models and through innovative models of care.
“The AHHA looks forward to working with whichever party forms government to help shape policies which support universal healthcare.”