“The Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation, released today by the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care, is a landmark report that should underpin the next wave of health reform in Australia,” BCA Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“Australians expect and deserve safe, appropriate, evidence-based treatment when ill. The Atlas shines a light on variation in clinical practice between different regions in Australia, some of which is unwarranted.
“As we redesign the health system so it is financially sustainable and fit-for-purpose this Atlas gives us the guiding principle - a safe system that delivers better outcomes at a lower cost.
“The Atlas will empower stakeholders, especially consumers, to have genuine conversations about inappropriate treatments, low value care and waste in the system. Ultimately, it will help achieve improvements in the appropriateness and value of care, and better outcomes for patients.
“At a time when governments are seeking to adopt choice and competition principles in human services through the response to the Harper Review, initiatives such as the Atlas are a vital first step to overcoming information barriers.
“The Productivity Commission has previously found that efficiency in health care could be increased by up to 20 per cent by lifting performance up to best practice.
“All clinicians, health and hospital networks, and federal and state governments should work together to deliver on the recommendations in this report.
“Analysis such as this empowers governments to proceed with sensible program redesign in a careful and informed manner, which ultimately delivers better outcomes for government budgets and better healthcare for all Australians.
“In recent months the Business Council has brought together leaders from the health sector to identify a long-term agenda to make Australia’s health system more consumer centred and adaptive to change. The Atlas will inform this agenda,” Ms Westacott said.
For further information contact:
Matt Newton, Communications Adviser
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (02) 8664 9207 • Mobile 0409 550 578