Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ALP health policy for the election

aThe ALP has released its health policy. We have had an opportunity to consider the policy and have come up with the following thoughts:

The ALP Health Policy seems to provide an integrated and comprehensive plan for the development and delivery of health care for 2012, touching most bases and linking existing and recent expenditure and policies.

The standout issues are:
  • $250m expenditure on new and expanded heath services over next four years
  • Infrastructure of $150m per year, including:
  • additional hospital facilities and beds, community health centres, walk-in-centres, and e-health
  • staffing for new facilities including, Women’s and Children Hospital and Gungahlin Health Centre
  • $20m over next four years to support health workforce – expanded roles of allied health professionals, doctors, nurses and assistants
  • $10.3m over next four years to support people living with chronic disease
  • $11.3m over next four years to support a healthy future – health promotion, including $6m for children and $0.3m for adolescents and young person
  • $35.6m over four years for acute, rehabilitation and community based services for older citizens.

Surprisingly there is no mention of consumer role/input into ACT Health planning, management or evaluation of health services. Given that this government has involved consumers in the planning of health services I would have expected to see an explicit statement of commitment around this.

There is also no explicit reference to engaging consumers at the individual level to be more involved in decision making around their care.

The additional $2m to support the implementation of e-health and smart technology initiatives does not appear until 2012-13 – this seems a long delay. There is certainly a number of things that could happen in this area, especially around electronic discharge and electronic prescribing. We are puzzled by the delay.

We are interested in your thoughts.

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