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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Peak body for public hospitals releases its 2021-22 pre-budget submission

Health Industry Hub | February 3, 2021 |

MedTech News: The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA), Australia’s national peak body for public hospitals and healthcare providers, has called on the Federal Government, in its 2021-22 Budget Submission, to continue to provide support for an effective, accessible, equitable and sustainable healthcare system focused on quality outcomes.

Among the recommendations is moving from volume to value. According to the submission, the current fee-for-service funding model in Australia places the focus on throughput of patients rather than sustained, improved health outcomes being achieved. A fundamental area for reform of the healthcare system is to move from volume-based care to a system of value-based healthcare, where patients are at the centre and the outcomes achieved in the provision of this healthcare are the focus.

AHHA’s pre-budget submission addresses private healthcare in Australia which is supported by a range of government subsidies and other policies. The value to the Australian community of these supports needs to be assessed to ensure that the most effective and efficient balance between public and private healthcare services is being achieved.

AHHA recommends that although Australia will always have a need for the availability and provision of private healthcare, the manner in which government should and should not support private healthcare needs to be clearly articulated, including the public benefits any such support provides and assurance that it does not compromise equitable access. There should be an independent comprehensive review to assess the value to the Australia community, and the impact on the public health system, of government support of private healthcare through subsidies and other policies.

As part of the COVID-19 response, the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) was extended to support the wide-scale provision of health care by telehealth. With Australians more open to using technology in healthcare, this has led to optimism across the sector that there will be a willingness to embrace these technologies in care to achieve more long-term health care reform.

AHHA recommends the implementation of virtual healthcare technologies effectively and sustainably in long-term health care reform. The aim is for the contemporary telehealth model of phone or videoconferencing to evolve so that patients and clinicians could be interacting with wearable or other monitoring devices and decision support algorithms.

AHHA also highlights the substantial and damning reports released into mental healthcare and aged care services in Australia that clearly signal urgency for reform. The Government should act on the findings of these two inquiry processes due to the compelling nature of the problems identified.

Read full submission


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