Stage set for vital discussion on health funding

Monday, September 14, 2015

Leaders from across the health sector will share their thoughts on the future of public hospital financing at the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Think Tank on Sustainable Funding of Public Hospitals in Brisbane tomorrow.

“We are eager to hear ideas from all our participants on how to ensure sustainable and durable funding for the public hospital system,” said AHHA Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven.

“There will be a cross-section of speakers from across the health sector, including health leaders from the public and private sectors, academics and consumers, to give the widest possible range of views.”

Featured keynote speakers at the Think Tank will include Elizabeth Koff, A/Deputy Secretary of Strategy and Resources at the NSW Ministry of Health; Mark Cormack, Deputy Secretary at the Commonwealth Department of Health; Dr Tony Sherbon, former Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority; and Dr Stephen Duckett, Health Program Director,Grattan Institute.

“The issue of public hospital financing is a key element of the Commonwealth Government’s ongoing federation and tax reform processes,” Ms Verhoeven said.

“Our goal with the Think Tank is to elevate public awareness of the issue, stimulate debate and identify innovative solutions.”

Changes to the Commonwealth Government’s health funding arrangements mean $57 billion in expected funding will be lost to public hospitals between 2017-18 and 2024-25.

“The Government’s Reform of the Federation White Paper process explores options regarding federal and state responsibility for health financing, and consideration of these options must include a focus on sustainable and durable funding arrangements that support a health system that is affordable and accessible for all Australians,” Ms Verhoeven said.

The Think Tank will kick off two days of major AHHA events in the Queensland capital, including the Sidney Sax Medal Dinner on Tuesday night, honouring an eminent Australian health leader, and a Forum on Bundled Care Options for Primary Health on Wednesday. The Forum will examine the issues associated with the potential introduction of bundled healthcare packages in primary care. Discussions at the Think Tank and Forum are supported by a series of research papers prepared on behalf of the AHHA by Dr Paresh Dawda, and the Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation at the University of Technology Sydney.

The AHHA gratefully acknowledges the support of Novartis and Bupa for the development of this research.

Media enquiries:

Alison Verhoeven

Chief Executive, The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association

0403 282 501