Health and Ageing
Health and Hospitals Reform
The Government will provide $3.3 billion over five years for substantial reform of the health and hospitals system in Australia. The Health and Hospitals Reform package consists of initiatives to address gaps in the current health system, improve health services, and deliver better health outcomes for Australians through preventative health measures.
Additional funding will be provided to reduce elective surgery and public dental waiting lists, invest in hospital and community health, improve access to primary care through the new GP Super Clinics, expand the nursing workforce and improve access to health professionals in rural and remote areas.
The package also includes funding to support the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission, which is tasked with developing a National Health Reform Plan. This plan will form the basis of long‑term reform focused on delivering better health outcomes for the community and providing sustainable improvements in the performance of the health system. It will address health workforce shortages and the inefficiencies arising from duplication and cost‑shifting within the hospital and health system, with the Government to provide incentive payments to State and Territory governments to deliver better outcomes for patients.
This Package forms part of the Government's commitment to reverse the national trend of Commonwealth cut‑backs to hospital funding over the past five years.
More hospital beds will be freed up for people with acute care needs as a result of new funding to increase the number of aged care transition places. These places will help older people who no longer need hospital‑based care to return home or move to aged care facilities. In addition, the Government will provide loans to aged care providers to increase the number of permanent and respite beds where there are shortages.
The Government will also develop a National Preventative Health Strategy. As an initial investment in preventative health, the Government will provide funding for health checks for children before they start school and dental check‑ups for eligible teenagers. In addition, an expanded bowel cancer screening program will help catch early‑stage cancers while they are easier and less expensive to treat.
The Government will also implement a broader range of cancer research, treatment and patient support initiatives.
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