Sunday, February 13, 2011

At Least A Partial Deal Has Been Done At the COAG Meeting on Health Reform. A Long Way From The Initial Vision or What Is Needed I Believe.

The following report appeared a little while ago on the ABC.

Deal done at COAG health meeting

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has emerged from a tough day of negotiations with state and territory leaders with a national agreement in place on health reform.

After more than seven hours of talks at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting at Parliament House in Canberra, the leaders finally put pen to paper on a heads of agreement for a health reform plan that Ms Gillard described as a "huge step forward".

Ms Gillard said with the heads of agreement in place, the technical details would now be worked through.

It is understood the deal, which was put forward last week, was held up as the leaders argued over Ms Gillard's proposed national health funding pool, which the Prime Minister said would boost transparency.

Ms Gillard said leaders have agreed to have one body distribute the money instead of having separate bodies for each State and Territory, and stressed the federal, state and territory governments would now be 'equal partners in growth'.

"It [multiple distributing bodies] would have risked over time that information was not truly comparable nationally," she said.

"As a result of today's agreement we are sweeping away those eight separate bureaucracies for one national funding body.

"While this has been a very long day, it has been a very successful outcome.

More here:

At least we have got some of the reforms now hopefully in place - but it is a long way from the objective of fixing the ‘blame game’ as far as I can tell. You have to say this was pretty predictable despite the huffing and puffing from the Premiers etc.

It is worth noting that the SMH is reporting that the 'final deal' will be finalised by COAG at a mid-year meeting so this may not be exactly as final as initial reporting suggests.

That the details of actually how funding will flow is still to be sorted leaves a fair bit of room for later problems before the final agreement as Colin Barnett has already said.

Prof John Dwyer put it will on ABC redio pointing out that this was actually a hospital fundinding reform deal and not actually a health system reform deal that shifted the emphasis and model of care to the proper emphasis on prevention, integration and primary care.

No mention of e-Health in the ABC report.


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