Hawker Britton Occasional Papers and Media

Outcomes of Australian Health Ministers’ Conference

22 July 2008

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Australian Health Ministers met today in Canberra to discuss a number of key health issues:

Elective surgery

Earlier in the year the Federal Government provided $150 million in additional funding to urgently undertake 25,000 additional procedures for people waiting longer than clinically recommended for elective surgery. Health Ministers today reported that 55% of this target has been met with approximately 14,000 additional patients receiving elective surgery in 6 months.  This is an achievement they attributed to cooperation between the Federal and State governments.

Monitoring growth in demand

The Ministers discussed funding arrangements under the new Australian Health Care Agreements, which are bilateral five-year agreements between the Australian Government and each state and territory for public hospital services. For funding purposes it is necessary to accurately gauge the growth in demand for such services, and the Ministers agreed that more work would need to be undertaken to determine the complex factors affecting demand, and the most effective way to monitor growth.

Improving quality care

The next meeting will be on 28 November 2008 in Brisbane.

The Conference Communiqué is available here.

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