“The Productivity Commission’s (PC) research paper Efficiency in Health demonstrates that multiple opportunities exist to improve health outcomes while also achieving efficiencies in the system,” BCA Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“In calling for the trajectory of spending growth in major programs to be slowed , the BCA’s 2015-16 Budget submission identified the opportunity for a double dividend from better targeting of health treatments that can lead to better patient outcomes, and also save money.
“The PC paper outlines a menu of options that would achieve this, such as expanding and improving health technology assessments, adopting measures to increase workforce flexibility and making better use of data.
“With healthcare currently costing the Commonwealth Government more than $60 billion per year, more than 4% of GDP, and with these figures set to increase significantly as our population ages, Australia cannot afford to continue with business as usual.
“The PC is right to call for a comprehensive, independent review of the broader healthcare system, including an examination of institutional and incentive structures, and ways to allocate funds between private and public sources in a fair and sustainable manner.
“The Commonwealth Government should now issue a clear terms of reference to the PC for such a review.
“Spending is the main driver of today’s deficit and a considered, independent review of the healthcare system would empower governments to proceed with fiscal repair in a careful and informed manner that ultimately delivers better outcomes for Australians,” Ms Westacott said.