Australian health is about to get a massive make over according to the four year time schedule and plans announced by the Federal Government. The plans include major reforms that will be undertaken over the next two years. These plans will include the electronic health records or e-health, $467 million will be spent to roll out the e-health scheme. e-health records would ensure that patients can access their own health care records and permit health care providers to access their information to provide better coordinated and effective care. However this would not be compulsory for all.
Health Minister Nicola Roxon on the release of a 54 page plan said in a statement, “The Government's implementation plan spells out the details as to when initiatives such as extra sub-acute beds, more doctors and more nurses will be part of our health system…It has clear, defined goals for improving the system to which the Government expects to be held accountable…The plan is carefully structured to ensure that the planned improvements to our health system are delivered to provide better, more connected services for all hard working Australians.”
Some other planned reforms include:
- By 2012 public hospitals would be funded for performing procedures at an “efficient price”.
- Government will also provide 60 per cent of public hospital funding and take full funding and policy responsibility for primary and aged care.
- 1,316 sub-acute beds will also come in this year for mental health, rehabilitation and terminally ill patients.
- Youth mental health services will also start off this year and would mean recruitment of 11,700 mental health nurses.
- By end of this year new local hospital networks and primary care organizations would be brought under one umbrella known as Medicare Locals, would be finalized.
- Beginning of 2011 will have four-hour emergency department treatment targeted towards high-needs patients.
- Mid next year all Australians would have access to an after-hours GP telephone service.
- Diabetics will also get voluntary care packages.
- General practitioners would be receiving grants of up to $500,000.
- By 2014 and 2015, public hospitals will treat 95 per cent of elective surgery patients within clinically recommended times.
What is not apparent from the report is the way the government plans to go forward with the health pay-roll system.