PDF Printable version of Medicare Locals review (PDF 30 KB)
16 December 2013
Australia’s former Chief Medical Officer Prof John Horvath AO will oversee the Australian Government’s review of Medicare Locals.
Prof Horvath is a distinguished doctor, researcher and health adviser and served as the nation’s CMO from 2003 to 2009.
Health Minister Peter Dutton has announced details of the review which was a Coalition election commitment.
It will begin immediately with Professor Horvath providing his independent advice to the Government by March next year.
The 61 Medicare Locals established by the former Labor Governments were allocated flexible federal funding of more than $1.8 billion over five years as well as additional funding for specific programs.
Health Minister Peter Dutton said the government’s priority from the program was to ensure that Commonwealth health funding was used as productively as possible.
“We are committed to reducing waste and spending on administration and bureaucracy, so that greater investment can be made in services that directly benefit patients and support health professionals who deliver those services to patients,” he said.
Stakeholders have been invited to comment on various aspects of Medicare Locals’ functions including:
- The role of MLs and their performance against stated objectives
- The performance of MLs in administering existing programmes, including after-hours GP services
- Recognising general practice as the cornerstone of primary care in the ML functions and governance structures
- Ensuring Commonwealth funding supports clinical services, rather than administration
- Processes for ensuring that existing clinical services are not disrupted or discouraged by ML programs
- Interaction between MLs and Local Hospital Networks and other health services, including boundaries
- Tendering and contracting arrangements
- Other related matters.
The deadline for those asked to respond is 23rd December, 2013 I am told.
Anyone who has comments that might be fed back on all these issues and MLs effectiveness feel free. Will pass them on if I can.
Most will know I see them as a rather nebulous set of entities whose purpose and actual performance is pretty unclear - given their cost.