The next Australian Government will confront major challenges in the funding and delivery of health care.
These challenges derive from:
Changes in demography and disease patterns as the population ages, and the burden of chronic illness grows;
Increasing costs of medical advances and the need to ensure that there are comprehensive, efficient and transparent processes for assessing health technologies;
Problems with health workforce supply and distribution;
Persistent concerns about the quality and safety of health services;
Uncertainty about how best to balance public and private sectors in the provision and funding of health services;
Recognition that we must invest more in the health of our children;
The role of urban planning in creating healthy and sustainable communities; and
Understanding that achieving equity in health, especially for Indigenous Australians, requires more than just providing health care services.
The search for effective and lasting solutions will require a consultative approach to deciding the nation’s priority health problems and to designing the health system that will best address them; issues of bureaucratic and fiscal responsibility can then follow.
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