Initial Submission to the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission

Because health is so fundamental to social and economic prosperity, the BCA supports the view that health is everybody’s business. For too long health policy decisions have been seen as a matter for governments and the health sector. But as we face new possibilities and difficult choices about the allocation of scarce resources, we all need to take responsibility for understanding the challenges and participating in the debate.

This is particularly the case as health system reform is seen by governments and the Productivity Commission as a key element within the National Reform Agenda, itself a major driver of future productivity growth. The BCA welcomes the decision by the governments of Australia to commission a comprehensive review of Australia’s healthcare system and the consultative process that has been established as part of this review.

That Australia currently has a successful health system is beyond doubt. However, the BCA shares the concerns of others about the increasing growth rate in expenditures, the unevenness in health outcomes across the Australian population and the capacity of the system to adapt to emerging new health and demographic demands.

In this submission the BCA makes several points on the basis of its early review of the challenges and issues.