Proposed Australian Health Reform Commission a positive step toward better healthcare

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

‘Labor’s proposed Australian Health Reform Commission would take the politics and finger-pointing out of health in order to deliver a better health system for the nation’, says Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven.

Ms Verhoeven was commenting on this morning’s media reports that the Australian Labor Party will today announce it will establish a permanent policy-making body, the Australian Health Reform Commission, if it forms government at the next election.

The Commission would work with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to design and deliver a better health system for all Australians, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay.

‘A big structural reform such as this is needed to deliver better healthcare access and affordability, rather than the tinkering around the edges we’ve seen in recent years’, Ms Verhoeven said.

‘Labor’s announcement is a positive step that would take a long-term view beyond our three-year federal election cycle and forge consensus across politics and the federal–state divide.

‘The AHHA has long called for an independent national health authority, distinct from the Commonwealth, and state and territory health departments, that would report directly to COAG, to tackle the entrenched problems facing our health services and to support better outcomes-focused, integrated care for all Australians.

AHHA’s 10-year blueprint for health system reform calls for an independent national health authority along with a series of short, medium and long-term reforms needed to reorientate our healthcare system to focus on patient outcomes and value rather than throughput and vested interests.

‘Better governance arrangements between the Commonwealth and states would result in better coordination of, and better value for, the nation’s $180 billion healthcare bill.

‘This will be helped by clear and transparent public reporting by the Commission.

‘An independent national health reform commission is a needed change to bring common sense and purpose, and better health outcomes to a system currently being shaped by too many vested interests’, said Ms Verhoeven.

More information about the AHHA is available at

To read AHHA’s 10-year blueprint for health system reform, visit:

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, and community and primary healthcare services.

Media enquiries:  Alison Verhoeven

Chief Executive, AHHA, 0403 282 501