Health Reform not total answer

THE Australian Medical Association (AMA) Queensland has welcomed the agreement between all states on the Federal Government’s proposed Health Reform plan, but fears it will not end the blame game in health care.

AMA Queensland president Dr Gino Pecoraro said the planned 50/50 funding was a worrying step back from the originally proposed 60/40 split.

“Our health system is no closer to having a single funder that will end the blame game between Federal and State Governments and provide real accountability for patient care,” Dr Pecoraro said.

“Despite acknowledging there are shortages in the number of beds, doctors and nurses needed in Queensland, the plan is unclear on how it will resolve these issues.”

He said while preliminary agreement on some ambitious targets had been set, if staffing and bed shortages remained unaddressed, it would be hard for hospitals to meet these targets.

“Between now and the planned implementation date of July 1, 2014, there is a lot of detail to be determined, and the doctors who will be required to deliver the proposed services need to be consulted every step of the way,” he said.

“It’s vital extra funding is properly invested in Queensland to expand the public hospital system and ensure lasting returns, not just short-term gains.”



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