Liberals take axe to Labor health bureaucracy
Friday, 7 March 2014
A Marshall Liberal Government will take an axe to Labor’s over centralised health bureaucracy and will return decision making to where services are actually delivered.
“During the past decade the Labor Government has centralised decision making for the health system in an ever expanding bureaucracy that has limited contact with either patients or the medical staff who care for them,” said Shadow Minister for Health Rob Lucas.
“The Liberal Party recognises that such a reform will be a significant change from Labor’s centralisation regime and it will be implemented gradually and after appropriate consultation with the health sector.
“As a first step Boards will be reintroduced to govern each of the Local Health Networks (LHNs). These Boards, with their Chief Executive Officers, will be given significant powers and responsibilities to manage health services. They will be provided with budgets and contracts together with requirements to meet key performance indicators.
“The Labor Government has diminished the powers and influence of the LHNs at the cost of community input into decision making in the health system and consequently at the expense of patients,” Mr Lucas said.
“Most other states have already moved to this model to reduce the size and influence of the centralized health bureaucracy.
“A Marshall Liberal Government will also commit $1 million from 2014/15 for a major initiative to tackle cardiovascular disease and in particular to address the need for cardiac rehabilitation programs,” Mr Lucas said.
“The Heart Foundation estimates that 70% of heart attack and other eligible patients are not participating in cardiac rehabilitation programs even though they can significantly reduce the chance of having a further cardiac arrest.
“A Marshall Liberal will seek to establish a cooperative partnership with the Federal Government to expand effective preventative health programs.
“A Marshall Liberal will commission a Health and Medical Research Strategic Review which will outline the state’s priorities for research funding and product development.
“The Strategic Review will be asked to consider proposals for the establishment of an Office for Health and Medical Research and the arguments for a fund to commercialise medical advances developed by the Office.
“The Review will include an audit of existing Health and Medical Research assets and the development of a register of that information,” Mr Lucas said.
The Labor Government’s MYBR makes it clear there are $1033 million in budget cuts to be implemented over the period up to 2016/17. However, the details of these Labor health cuts have not been revealed.
“In the interest of transparency a Marshall Liberal Government will reveal the detail of the budget cuts being planned by the Labor Government but not released,” Mr Lucas said.
“A Marshall Liberal will also institute a review of all Health IT projects given the massive budget blowouts and probity concerns which have been raised about the management of these projects.”
The Marshall Liberal Opposition has also released health policies for:
• Mental Health;
• Paediatric services at Modbury Hospital;
• Obstetric services at Millicent Hospital;
• Neo-natal services at Flinders Hospital;
• Patient Assistance Transport Scheme;
• McLaren Vale Hospital funding;
• APY lands dialysis; and
• Existing RAH site redevelopment.