Reforming our health care system: time to rip off the band‐aid?

Claire L Jackson and Diana O’Halloran
Med J Aust 2021; 215 (7): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51261
Published online: 4 October 2021

The health reform imperative is clear; it now requires national courage and leadership to implement it

While Australia has traditionally delivered some of the best health care outcomes in the world,1 there are increasing signs that our strained health care system is pushing the stress performance curve into the red. Benchmarks of hospital activity demonstrate ongoing difficulty;2 Local Hospital Networks scramble to meet demand despite annual federal government funding increases of 6.5%; and the grey literature attests to the unfolding human impact behind the figures.3 Patients deteriorate waiting for specialist assessment,4 and junior doctors find themselves trapped in increasingly overstretched, dysfunctional work environments. The much‐reviewed experience of Yumiko Kadota is not an isolated incident, with similar experiences documented regularly by doctors‐in‐training nationwide.5

  • Claire L Jackson1,2
  • Diana O’Halloran3

  • 1 University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2 MRI‐UQ Centre for Health System Reform and Integration, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD
  • 3 University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.