Jane Hall and Kees van Gool write in The Conversation (17.3.16) about how the federal government and the states could reasonably fund public hospitals, leaving aside the perennial finger-pointing over responsibility for the health system.
‘Once again, states and territories are mired in negotiations with the Commonwealth about public hospital funding … Improving the efficiency of the health system requires flexibility in how funds are allocated.
‘Under our proposal, funds would be channelled into a national funding pool earmarked for health care. This would enable the flexibility to direct funds where they’re needed in the system and to deliver services around the patient rather than moving the patient to the funding program.
‘It is clear from experience around the world that health services should be redesigned from a focus on acute, time-limited problems and diseases to people with chronic and complex conditions requiring ongoing care inside and outside the hospital.
‘Reform of the tax system, reform of the federation and a new round of health-care reform are all live issues. Time to think about this old problem in a new way.’