Key moments in a national approach to VBHC

VBHC in Australia originated as a grassroots movement with health care leaders and professionals seeking solutions to address the growing sustainability issues undermining the system.

Throughout 2017, Australian health leaders came together to discuss how to transform health care into a fit for purpose, 21st century system that could meet the needs and expectations of Australians. The result was the ‘Healthy people, healthy systems’ blueprint for health reform, which mapped out a transformation agenda to reorient the system through focusing on outcomes and value.

While states and territories were pursuing value, federal engagement with the concept became prominent in 2018 with the signing of the Heads of Agreement between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories on public hospitals funding and health reform (ratified in 2020), which demonstrated a commitment across all levels of government to the principles of VBHC and to ‘paying for value and outcomes’.

In 2019, the Australian Centre for VBHC was established by the AHHA to bring stakeholders from across the health system together to drive collective action on VBHC to improve the health outcomes of Australians for the resources available, sustainably and equitably. Since its inception, the Australian Centre for VBHC has driven the value agenda though supporting educational and training opportunities, events and conferences, providing implementation support and advocating for enabling policies at the federal, state and territory level.

The AHHA recognises that a mix of top-down, bottom-up, centralised and decentralised approaches are needed to support the operationalisation and implementation of VBHC across Australia. As such, the Australian Centre for VBHC has adopted a connecting role, working in partnership with services to support networked problem solving and develop collective intelligence that is connected into, and can inform, the policy environment.

(Reproduced from Hoban E, Lewis S, Woolcock K and Haddock R. 2024. Transforming for value-based health care: Lessons from NHS Wales. Deeble Perspectives Brief 30. Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, Australia.)

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