The Business Council of Australia welcomes the permanent establishment of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care as a long-overdue development to address continuing issues of patient safety and quality in the health sector.
But the establishment of the commission must be seen as a first step in putting a national system of governance in place for the health sector, aimed at improving the performance of the sector.
This submission reiterates previous BCA recommendations for the establishment of a market regulatory body to strengthen system governance and market oversight and provide a focal point for the support of health consumers. This would more effectively recognise:
- mixed public and private nature of our health sector, and
- the greater information and support needed by consumers as they are expected to take more responsibility for managing their own health and health costs.
Future governance reforms will be also needed, building on the current round of COAG reforms.