Hospitals

We should create “hospitals of the future” for highly specialised, technical care – with improved access to care for patients and new funding arrangements

National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission Fact Sheet

New National Access Targets
A new way of funding hospitals
Reshape the hospital sector
Strengthened subacute care
Accountability in the hospital sector
More information

We should create “hospitals of the future” for highly specialised, technical care – with improved access to care for patients and new funding arrangements

New National Access Targets

New National Access Targets should be developed and adopted for timeliness of care in hospitals and other health services - for emergency presentations, acute mental health interventions, coronary artery surgery and cancer treatment, and other planned surgeries.

These access targets should be used to measure and report on whether people are accessing the services they need and when. A share of the funding potentially available to health services should link to meeting access targets.

A new way of funding hospitals

Activity based funding should be used to fund both public and private hospitals: for inpatient and outpatient treatment and for emergency departments (in conjunction with new bed availability grants for hospitals with major emergency care services). The Australian Government should fund public hospital care in a new way, paying states and territories a set amount for each episode of care and treatment that public hospitals provide.

The Australian Government should meet the efficient cost of outpatient services in public hospitals to a capped limit, and a proportion of the efficient cost of inpatient and emergency department services. Over time, this funding share could be increased.

Reshape the hospital sector

Future planning of hospitals should encourage greater separation of elective and emergency services, to help prevent planned surgery and procedures being cancelled when emergency patients take priority.

How public hospital outpatient services are provided should be reviewed to ensure they are more closely designed around the needs of patients – including providing more of these services in community settings.

Public and private hospitals should be required to publicly report on their performance against a national set of indicators which measure access, efficiency and quality of care.

Strengthened subacute care

We need a strengthened sub-acute sector - to help people recover and restore their health. Sub-acute care includes rehabilitation services, post-discharge services, transition care, geriatric evaluation and management, and palliative care.

Clear targets should be set to increase provision of sub-acute services, and we need to ensure that we have the right workforce in place to deliver sub-acute services, including in the community.

Capital investment in subacute care facilities is a high health infrastructure priority.

Accountability in the hospital sector

To improve accountability, public and private hospitals should be required to report publicly on performance against a national set of indicators which measure access, efficiency and quality of care provided.

More information

This is a summary of some of the major recommendations of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission. Full recommendations can be found in A Healthier Future For All Australians – Final Report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission – June 2009

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Page last updated 27 July, 2009