19 February 2019
AHCRA supports fundholding role for ALP Health Reform Commission
The Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) today welcomed the Labor Party’s commitment to reform Australia’s health system to deliver equitable and high quality health care to all Australians.
AHCRA is a coalition of health organisations and individuals dedicated to improving Australia’s health system to achieve better value and improved health and well-being to the community.
“AHCRA supports Labor’s commitment to universal health care. We know from international evidence that countries with universal tax-funded health systems deliver better health outcomes for a lower cost than those which are based on private for-profit care systems.
“We agree that the universality of Medicare has been eroded and there are now many groups in the community which struggle to access the care they need. We also spend money on subsidies of unproven value, such as the private health insurance rebate.
“We support Labor’s pledge to tackle these healthcare challenges to ensure that Medicare evolves in response to the changing needs and priorities of the Australian community. In particular, we suggest that reforms need to tackle key areas of inequality, inefficiency and discrimination including: high and inconsistent out-of-pocket costs; disparate workforce distribution; poor health outcomes for Indigenous Australians; inadequate access to dental care; and public subsidies for private health insurance that benefit only some segments of the population.
“We are interested to hear more about the role of the proposed National Health Reform Commission in progressing the needed reforms. We look forward to hearing how it will be effective in fostering a bi-partisan, cross-jurisdictional and long-term focus on the health system.
“AHCRA has previously called for a separate body to administer health funding to give the health system some continuity and to remove funding decisions from the pressures of short-term partisan politics.
“We understand that Labor’s proposed commission has more of an advisory role and we question whether this will be enough to overcome the significant barriers to action across sectors and jurisdictions.
“If Labor is genuine in its commitment to health reform AHCRA hopes that a funding role for the Commission is on the agenda. Giving the new commission some genuine levers to shift current practices is the best way to achieve the long-term reform required to ensure a health system that is fit for purpose.”