This submission provides specific feedback to the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) interim report, A Healthier Future for All Australians, and includes the BCA paper, Fit for the Job: Adapting to Australia’s New Heathcare Challenges. The BCA’s initial submission to the NHHRC review can be accessed here.
This BCA submission supports and accepts many of the findings of the NHHRC review process and accepts that the commission’s review represents the first opportunity for a system-wide analysis of needs and current healthcare system performance.
The NHHRC review must identify the features of a national healthcare system that is capable of meeting the needs of Australians in the 21st century, and addressing the current and emerging patterns of disease.
This cannot be done without taking a disciplined systems approach and tackling the current weaknesses in services, and the reasons for those weaknesses.
Many previous reviews have documented the fragmentation in the system; that it is not a system from the patients’ perspective, but rather, a collection of services. Inequities in access to services and variability in outcomes, together with the failings in quality, have been long documented. Unless the lessons from those missed reform opportunities are addressed, this will be another lost opportunity.
Improving health care is an economic and social necessity. The stakes are high, and we are urging the commission to be bolder and stronger in its final recommendations.