Northern Territory Shadow Minister for Health Matt Conlan
Diagnosing Future Funding
Victor P Taffa
The Henderson Government must undertake a comprehensive health funding analysis before COAG meets next month to discuss the Prime Minister’s proposed changes to health funding.
“At present the Territory Government has no medium to long term funding model for the provision of health services in the Territory.” Shadow Minister for Health Matt Conlan said.
“The disaster that has been Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) should stand as a stark warning to the Henderson Government about the need to do its sums properly.”
“So poor was the Territory Government’s estimate about the cost of delivering the housing and infrastructure project that the infrastructure component has now been dropped entirely to keep the cost at $670 Million.”
“It underestimated the actual cost of SIHIP by hundreds of millions of dollars and we can’t afford a similar miscalculation on health.” Mr. Conlan said.
“The fact is without a funding model for the future demands upon our health system the Territory Government won’t be able to properly assess the impact of the Prime Minister’s proposed changed to health funding.”
“It would be grossly negligent to enter negotiations about changes to health funding and our tax base without a clear understanding of where future costs are heading under the current arrangements.” Mr. Conlan said.
“There is considerable consternation interstate about the impact the proposed changes would have upon regional hospitals.”
The Daily Telegraph has reported:
NSW Health officials warned that as many as 100 smaller community hospitals may become financially unviable under a new payment-per-service model unveiled in Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s hospital reform plan yesterday.
Professor Bob Farnsworth, chair of the Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service’s health advisory council, said Mr Rudd’s reforms were “appalling” and “potentially a disaster” for NSW.
“The Henderson Government needs to be certain the proposed changes will work in favour of all of the Territory’s hospitals.” says Matt Conlan.
The Rudd health financial reforms have all the hallmarks of an ‘Alice in Wonderland Tea Party.’
On the one hand Central Australia residents were assured only weeks ago of home ownership by Canberra and on the other hand this plan has all but been scuttled as Canberra seek to destroy State and Territory finances to pay for hospital bandages.
When some people suggest that Australia should only have two levels of Government perhaps it is time that we valued the separation of the various levels of Government as protection from this mad capped lunacy.