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health reform « Previous | |Next »
February 26, 2008

Nicola Roxon, the federal Heath Minister, says the Commonwealth will not follow through with a two-year deadline to take over state hospitals across Australia if genuine reform can be delivered through negotiation.

We don't have any intention to take over the hospital system if we can get that sort of reform by negotiations with the states. Of course, the states want more money into the system and, of course, that is something we are prepared to consider. But we are not prepared to consider it as a blank cheque

Roxon warned that hospital funding is a “two way street”and that the new reform commission announced yesterday to develop long-term solutions to health funding was designed to end the blame game between the states. It was also designed to provide a blueprint for a health and hospital system capable of dealing with the challenges of the 21st century.

The Rudd Government has knocked back a recent move by the states--led by the NSW-- for more no-strings attached heath funding

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:13 AM | | Comments (4)


the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission will have wide terms of reference and promises to consult exhaustively.

Will it have the policy nous to look beyond our public hospital system to the opportunities afforded in preventative healthcare, better IT systems, primary and acute care and rehabilitation. After all, Australia's biggest health challenges can't be solved by better hospitals - they're chronic and preventable diseases like diabetes, obesity and depression.

The basic reason the system is becoming more and more ramshackle is dues less to the casual inefficiencies, cost-shifting or maladministration (as in NSW) and more to do with public hospitals have being chronically starved of funds, not least investment in new facilities.

If it is a lack of money, then NSW Health Minister Reba Meagher is blaming all shortcomings within her portfolio on minions, a number of whom have been forced to resign. However, the public and the press keep pointing at her and her NSW Government.

Meagher may have a point given this story of a deregistered doctor being able to illegally attend 36 obstetric patients at two South Coast public hospitals - despite being banned from the specialty five years earlier - because the NSW Health Department failed to conduct background checks on him.

That's not the Minister's fault.