Prime Minister Rudd’s plan for reforming Australian public hospitals

David G Penington
Med J Aust 2010; 192 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2010.tb03609.x
Published online: 3 May 2010

It is the long term that matters — not a quick fix

Kevin Rudd’s election commitment in November 2007 to take over the funding of public hospitals and fix them has led to a bold and courageous plan,1 unveiled after a 15-month review by the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) and further extensive consultations. Some pillory the delay, but with such a complex system and so much at stake, caution is admirable. The real questions are whether the solution offered on 3 March 2010 for public hospitals1 will work, and what problems will it solve? Further debate is urgently needed.

  • Grattan Institute, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

None identified.

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  • 2. National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission. A healthier future for all Australians: final report June 2009. Canberra: Department of Health and Ageing, 2009. (accessed Mar 2010).
  • 3. Van Der Weyden MB. The Bundaberg Hospital scandal: the need for reform in Queensland and beyond [editorial]. Med J Aust 2005; 183: 284-285. <MJA full text>
  • 4. Joseph AP, Hunyor SN. The Royal North Shore Hospital inquiry: an analysis of the recommendations and the implications for quality and safety in Australian public hospitals. Med J Aust 2008; 188: 469-472. <MJA full text>
  • 5. Ombudsman Victoria. Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 report of an investigation into issues at Bayside Health [parliamentary report]. 29 October 2008. Melbourne: Ombudsman Victoria, 2008.
  • 6. Australian Government Treasury. The 2010 intergenerational report. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 2010. (accessed Mar 2010).


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