In 2014 the Australian Government initiated a process to develop a White Paper on Reform of the Federation. Through this process, the Commonwealth Government intended to re-examine the roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth, States, Territories and Local Governments in the provision of public services where there is an overlap in service delivery, policy and funding.
Health was a key focus of the Reform of the Federation White Paper. The health sector has long been caught between the levels of government which made this reform of the Federation process an ideal opportunity to examine issues including responsibility, accountability, structure and funding along with providing an environment to identify opportunities for reform and innovation.
The AHHA undertook a number of activities in the lead up to the release of the White Paper to identify issues, seek different views from across the health sector and to propose new approaches.
The Australian Government has since stated that this Reform of the Federation White Paper process will no longer proceed, with reform now being progressed by the Council on Federal Financial Relations, along with the Commonwealth, State and Territory Treasuries.
The issues identified and the potential solutions raised as part of the white paper process remain relevant to ongoing deliberations on health sector reform. The materials assembled as part of this process will therefore be maintained as a resource to inform ongoing discussions and developments.
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Think Tank on Reform of the Federation and Health
AHHA held the Think Tank on Reform of the Federation and Health at Old Parliament House in Canberra on 16 March 2015. More than 100 health leaders gathered to examine issues in the Reform of the Federation White Paper and to hear from speakers including members of all major political parties, representatives from Federal and State Governments and senior members of the health sector.
A communique summarising the discussions of the Think Tank is available below along with the presentations from the day.
AHHA will be developing a number of issues papers on specific aspects of the reform of the federation process which will be published here.