A National Health and Hospitals Network for Australia's Future
7. Taking a reform plan to the states
Since November 2007, the Commonwealth Government has worked closely with states to deliver much‑needed improvements to the Australian health system. Through cooperation and agreement, the Commonwealth and state governments have been able to address several key pressure points in the health system, including a lack of services, long waiting lists, workforce shortages and increasing demands on public hospital services. In particular, governments agreed the 2008 National Healthcare Agreement, which represented a $64 billion commitment for health and hospitals and a 50 per cent increase on the previous Australian Health Care Agreements.
However, more work is required to ensure the long‑term sustainability and quality of Australia’s health system. The Commonwealth Government calls on state governments to continue their cooperation in implementing the necessary reforms contained in this National Health Reform Plan. The Commonwealth Government will continue working closely with state governments through the COAG process to ensure the Plan is implemented as quickly as possible. These essential reforms are required as building blocks for future reforms and to ensure that additional investment in the system is used efficiently and effectively.
In return for its greatly increased funding contribution as set out in this document, the Commonwealth will require the states to make substantial changes. The Commonwealth will be putting this plan to states at COAG in April. Should the states not agree to the Plan, the Commonwealth reserves its right to seek a mandate from the Australian people to implement the Plan. Furthermore, consistent with the Government’s previous commitments, the Commonwealth also reserves the right to proceed to a full funding takeover of the system in the future.
The Commonwealth looks forward to productive negotiations with states to deliver landmark reforms for health and hospitals.back to top