AHHA calls on Federal Government to deliver health system Australia deserves

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) is calling for the Federal Government to lay the foundations for a health system that delivers the outcomes that matter to people and communities, sustainably and equitably.

In an election statement released today, AHHA has outlined key priority areas for health system reform in the lead up to the Federal Election.

‘Almost four decades has passed since the establishment of Medicare and a lot has changed, in both the conditions that people are managing and the way care can be delivered. But health policy has not kept pace,’ says AHHA Acting Chief Executive Kylie Woolcock.

‘The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated inequities in Australia’s health. Our most vulnerable Australians have not had access to the care they deserve.

‘Health services have had to manage escalating workloads without timely support and resources, and our health workforce is exhausted.

‘Government must introduce approaches to health care that provide value over volume; they must consider the population’s health, while ensuring that people and communities, including our most vulnerable, are placed at the centre of care.

‘They must deliver health system reform that considers the workforce and its sustainability and supports universal health care in a post-pandemic era,’ says Ms Woolcock.

Shifting to more outcomes-focused, value-based health care requires a government that will measure and report what matters.

Health data needs to accurately reflect care outcomes and be in the right format. It needs to be timely and of sufficient quality to support decisions within care relationships as well as inform improvements in performance across all levels of the health system.

Provisions need to be made for a sustainable and resilient health workforce incentivised to achieve person-centred care and meet population health needs.

Stewardship and support need to be provided to enable regional innovation and reform to support health services in the shift to outcomes focussed, value-based models of care.

Use of mixed, flexible funding models should be pursued that incentivise improved health outcomes for people and communities. These should adequately compensate for activity, protect equity, and reward agreed performance standards and outcomes.

‘Reform is urgently needed to deliver a system that people, communities and the health workforce deserve. Expectations of a simple transition to ‘business as usual’ are unrealistic,’ says AHHA Acting Chief Executive Kylie Woolcock.

Read the AHHA 2022 Election Statement here

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, Primary Health Networks, and community and primary healthcare services.

Media enquiries:  Kylie Woolcock, Acting Chief Executive, AHHA
0410 625 830