Tactics and strategies for a six year journey to sustainable, equitable excellence
(1) Move to a single funder for our national health scheme (The Commonwealth). The funder would contract with States and other potential providers to deliver integrated patient focused care. The health bureaucracy would be reduced by 80% with greater efficiency, better outcomes and less duplication saving at least $ 4 billion per year.
(2) Remove Tax-payer support for Private Health insurance. Health Insurers are making large profits. Australians will retain their PHI as other sticks make that a certainty. The introduction of the subsidy saw PHI increase by only 2%.
(3) Introduce peer and craft approved critical pathways to see more evidence based decision making re tests and procedures . Savings $20 billion per year.
(4) Focus on reducing avoidable expensive hospital admissions ( more than 600,000 per year) through cheaper and better timely community interventions. Requires the introduction of Integrated Primary Care teams. Will need to broaden Medicare funding to cover health professionals other than doctors but net savings anticipated at least $7 billon per year.(5) Introduce slowly but steadily capitated funding for the management of”chronic and complex”diseases with mandatory reporting of health outcomes.
Professor John Dwyer is Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of New South Wales.