Now it’s time for the real health reform

The Government is to be congratulated on reaching agreement this week with the states and territories to break the impasse that arose following the previous ‘agreement’ in April 2010.

The new agreement provides for a phased growth in Common­wealth funding for hospitals to reach 50% by about 2014 (from its current level of around 40%) and to remain at that level, including for growth.

Commonwealth and state/terri­tory contributions will be paid into pooled accounts and funds will be distributed from those accounts by an independent agency based on ‘efficient’ price for services in larger hospitals and block funds for smaller institutions. 

The price, too, will be set independently. The agreement includes targets of a maximum waiting time of four hours for service in emergency depart­ments and 95% of elective surgery being undertaken within the clinically indicated times. 

The MyHospital website