Monday, September 23, 2013

The Abbott Government Is Already Going The Wrong Way In Health. Not A Good Sign.

This appeared today.

Commonwealth agencies to be cut by Abbott Government

  • Steve Lewis
  • News Limited Network
  • September 22, 2013 10:00PM
AGENCIES responsible for tackling obesity, capital city planning and security advice on asylum seekers are to be slashed as Tony Abbott takes the axe to Labor's reform agenda.
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The Coalition will also begin unwinding key "nanny state'' agencies such as the Australian National Preventative Health Agency, established to lead the national fight against obesity, alcohol abuse and tobacco use.
Health Minister Peter Dutton has been critical of ANPHA's decision to spend $500,000 on a study into a potential "fat tax" despite neither side of politics supporting such a move.
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Two major health agencies - the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the year-old National Health Performance Authority - are under review and could have their combined budgets - of around $40 million a year - slashed.
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Scrapping ANPHA will leave the Government open to criticism that it's not taking seriously a raft of key health challenges - including the growing obesity challenge and tobacco and alcohol control.
But Mr Dutton is determined to slash hundreds of millions of dollars in bureaucratic expenses and is reviewing the ongoing role of the AIHW - which provides a national service on health and welfare statistics.
The National Health Performance Authority - established in 2011 to provide uniform statistics on the performance of hospitals and other health facilities - could also be absorbed back into the health department.
Full article is here - I have extracted Health related bits and left the rest out.
If this is the quality of what we are going to see from Mr Dutton and his team I am very worried. Evidence based health policy is only possible when you have an organisation like the AIHW crunching the statistics. Continued support of Preventative Care is really a no-brainer and you can be sure that without the ANPHA improvement of hospital performance and costs will be that much harder.
Compared with the billions spent in the health system these cuts are just the wrong target in my view. Now the PCEHR might be a better item to consider - or is that already coming?
David.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As we have neither seen nor heard of any plans already by Mr Abbott or his newly appointed Health Minister to drown the NEHTA Puppy he so foolishly created in the Howard years, of course it is self-evident they are heading in the wrong direction!

With Ms Halton rumoured to be heading for the powerful halls of PM&C, is it any surprise the wrong direction is the "Final Destination"!