Pledge to restore certainty to public hospital funding welcome

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) welcomes the Greens’ pledge to commit to sustainable public hospital funding and affordable, equitable healthcare.

“The Greens’ pledge to restore the public hospital funding model wherein the Commonwealth, states and territories share the rising costs in delivering hospital services aligns with what AHHA has advocated for. We also welcome the proposed increase in Commonwealth funding to 50% of efficient growth from the next Budget cycle.” AHHA Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven said.

“The commitment to enshrine the funding formula in law would provide greater certainty to the states, territories and the health sector, allowing for long-term, strategic planning of the public hospital sector.”

The Greens’ commitment to phasing out the Private Health Insurance (PHI) rebate also mirrors AHHA’s recent call for reform.

“The AHHA reiterates that action is needed on PHI, and we have previously called for simpler products, better communication with policy holders, policies which meet consumer need, better business practices, the removal or better application of the PHI rebate to safe and effective evidence-based treatments and assurance that Australians without insurance would continue to have equitable and affordable access to healthcare,” Ms Verhoeven said.

“The Commonwealth spends billions of dollars annually on the PHI rebate, and it is prudent to ask if these funds should be reallocated to parts of the healthcare system in greater need. The Greens’ commitment to redirect funding saved from phasing out the PHI rebate into public healthcare is a welcome one.”

The AHHA calls for Labor to release their plans for public hospital funding for voters to judge against the Greens’ and the Coalition’s respective policies.

The shortfall in hospital funding must be addressed by all parties to ensure all Australians are supported by the best possible health system regardless of whether they can afford to purchase private care.

The AHHA also calls for legislation to ensure the setting of efficient prices within an activity-based framework is done by a fully independent and appropriately resourced body. This legislation would provide more certainty that government funding is not arbitrarily modified.

“All parties must make healthcare and public hospital funding a priority in this election campaign as it is a priority for Australians,” Ms Verhoeven said.

View AHHA’s Election 2016 coverage here.

Media enquiries:
Alison Verhoeven
Chief Executive, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association
0403 282 501