Quote Of The Year

Quote Of The Year - Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Council of Australian Governments Meets Tomorrow on The Fate of the Health System.

It might just be a big day for the Australian Health System tomorrow.

Bligh leads COAG talks on health reform

December 6, 2009 - 9:59AM

AAP

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh will outline five areas for reform in the nation's health system at Monday's Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.

Ms Bligh is to share her vision on how state and federal health responsibilities could be redefined with her fellow state leaders on Sunday night, ahead of COAG's first ever meeting in Brisbane.

The state leaders have been working through the recommendations of the final report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission.

.....

The five key areas Ms Bligh has nominated for reform are: better funding to match growing demand; fixing aged care to take pressure off hospitals; the disconnect between GPs, hospitals and community health; workforce shortages; and disease prevention.

Queensland will argue that the commonwealth should fund all aged-care services regardless of where they are provided, and all primary healthcare services, such as GPs.

More here:

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/bligh-leads-coag-talks-on-health-reform-20091206-kce2.html

Here is another report:

Anna Bligh's tonic a hard sell

Article from the Sunday Mail

December 06, 2009 12:00am

FEDERAL and state governments keep throwing billions and billions of dollars into the nation's health system. But they still can't get it right.

Waiting lists for our public hospitals get longer and longer, doctors and nurses are exhausted from extended shifts and there is never enough money from our politicians.

Queensland has declared: Enough is enough. Premier Anna Bligh is taking an ambitious reform package to the first Council Of Australian Governments meeting in Brisbane tomorrow in a bid to fix our ailing health system.

Bligh will be up against it. State and territory leaders have their own agendas and trying to get them all to agree on reform measures will be tougher than a quadruple bypass.

But Bligh is on the right track by suggesting the Commonwealth fund aged care services. In Queensland alone, 336 nursing home patients take precious hospital beds every night. A hospital bed costs $698 a day compared to $290 for an aged-care bed. Bligh has also called for more funding for GPs and more training places.

More here:

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26445615-13360,00.html

And we find the NSW position now being obsolete I guess being from an ex-Premier.:

NSW plan for national health care control

NICK MILLER AND LOUISE HALL

December 3, 2009

NSW has fired the first public shot in the health reform debate before next week's COAG meeting, by proposing to unite all health funding in one pool that is divided between regional health authorities.

The plan is similar to one rejected by the Federal Government's reform commission.

Premier Nathan Rees announced in Parliament yesterday that he would propose a national health commission, to be run by federal and state officials, clinicians and local community representatives.

The commission would set health policy and act as a funnel for all Commonwealth and state health funding including Medicare, aged care, hospital and community care.

The money would be divided between large regional health authorities that would deliver all health care - from prevention and screening, through to GPs and allied health, hospitals, rehabilitation and community aged care.

Mr Rees said the plan would keep NSW involved in health provision while reducing its responsibility for the political minefield of public hospitals.

He said he would take it to the Council of Australian Governments meeting on health reform in Brisbane on Monday.

Mr Rees, whose Government has been hammered for hospital scandals, crowded emergency departments and long waiting lists for elective surgery, said the plan would ''provide a seamless patient journey, ensuring care matches patient needs, rather than bureaucratic silos''.

''The current incentives for cost-shifting and blame-shifting would be reduced, if not eliminated,'' he said.

Mr Rees said the key to the NSW plan was the regional health authorities, based roughly on the state's existing area health services - which Victoria did not have.

Lots more here:

http://www.theage.com.au/national/nsw-plan-for-national-health-care-control-20091202-k6ci.html

The Crikey.com.au health blog also has some useful thoughts: See:

http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/

They are here:

http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2009/12/01/health-memo-to-coag-part-four-forget-about-the-ideology/

and here:

http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2009/11/30/health-memo-to-coag-part-three-heres-a-way-forward-in-the-critical-area-of-primary-health-care/

and here:

http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2009/11/30/health-memo-to-coag-part-two-beware-the-nhhrcs-advice/

and here:

http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2009/11/30/health-memo-to-coag-part-one-its-time-to-tackle-waste-and-inefficiency/

Given the comment reported here:

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2009/s2739638.htm

“NICOLA ROXON: In December we're holding a specific health COAG (Council of Australian Governments) meeting, heads of government, to discuss reforms with the States and we will then present our national reform plan in early 2010.

Our preference is to work with the States and Territories to deliver this reform plan but if they won't join us on this journey we will seek a mandate from the Australian people at the next election to pursue necessary change.”

It looks like this meeting will have all the ambit claims put up – and we will hear in the New Year what is actually planned.

It will be important to keep a close eye on the communiqué which will appear late in the day here:

http://www.coag.gov.au/

- as you can bet there will be some strong hints in what is finally agreed in that communiqué. Could be a big day!

One outcome may just be that the NEHTA Individual EHR gets funded - it is with COAG we are told in recent presentations. Now there is a scary possible outcome!

David.

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