Who wants the health money

IN THE fractured world of healthcare funding, everyone brings a different wish list to the Budget table. And this year is no different.

A second tilt at a Common­wealth takeover, infrastructure investment, doctor training, mental health, Indi­ge­n­ous health, e-health… the list goes on. 

But amid the noise, as the Gillard Government prepares its first Budget, there’s one question everyone seems to be asking: What’s going to happen with the Medicare Locals (MLs)?

“That process is a bit bedevilled by the detail,” says Lynne Pezzullo, head of the Access Economics health unit, of the Government’s still-embryonic rethink of community-based primary care. 

“It is taking a while to get off the ground. We still don’t know what each of the MLs is supposed to do. It would be good to get a better idea of the arrangements between the [existing GP] networks and the MLs.”