Performance Authority Can Help Lift Health System Game

The BCA welcomes the announcement by Health Minister Nicola Roxon that she intends to establish a National Performance Authority to drive better outcomes in the health system.

Acting Chief Executive Maria Tarrant said the announcement is consistent with calls by the BCA for continued effort in transforming the way we manage health and deliver healthcare services.

“The key to transforming the health system to meet the challenges of additional demand is the right regulatory environment. We are looking for ways in which ongoing change and improvement can be generated.

“What is important are reforms that can lead to strengthened governance greater transparency and a better focus on outcomes.

“The establishment of an authority to better measure and drive performance across the system as a whole is fundamental.

Ms Tarrant said Australia has a good and well-deserved reputation for building strong economic institutions with responsibility for monitoring and fostering improved market performance to support a stronger economy.

The Australian Prudential and Regulation Authority and the Productivity Commission are good examples of this, she said.

Last month the BCA released a paper titled Using Microeconomic Reform to Deliver Patient-Centred Health Care, which highlighted the importance of strengthened governance arrangements that allow for independent monitoring of the performance of the system and provide the trigger to ongoing adaptation and change.

“As we said in releasing our paper, the Prime Minister is right to suggest that increased transparency and accountability will generate ongoing change,” Ms Tarrant said.

“But we have a long way to go in making available relevant, timely and reliable data on which they can make informed decisions about their options for health care.

“More money for key parts of the system will have a limited impact unless we also ensure that services better meet current health requirements and are delivered in more efficient ways that focus on the health outcomes for patients,” she said.