Health reform has failed the poor: CHA

14/07/2010

CHA News Story

The Government’s health reform plan has ignored the needs of Australia’s most vulnerable, according to Catholic Health Australia (CHA).

CHA CEO Martin Laverty urged all candidates in the coming federal election to prioritise the health needs of socioeconomically disadvantaged Australians.

“A person’s health is determined long before they see a doctor or enter hospital. It’s determined by early childhood experiences, schooling, income levels, diet and physical activity. It’s determined by social factors which, despite our plea, have been overlooked in recent health reform changes,” Mr Laverty said.

“People living in socioeconomic disadvantage are sicker and die earlier than people of more affluence. Health reform has not prioritised the needs of the poor; the reform agenda has largely ignored Australia’s most vulnerable.

“A person’s health should not be determined by their wealth.”

Representing not for profit providers of one in every 10 Australian hospital and aged care beds, CHA has called on election candidates to commit to making the health of the poor a measurable outcome for Local Hospital Networks and Medicare Locals.

“Each Local Hospital Network and Medicare Local currently being established as part of the COAG reform process should be given publicly reportable goals requiring them to reduce inequalities in health access and outcomes for people who live in their area,” Mr Laverty said.

“Success against these goals and targets should be reported to the new National Performance Agency. Areas of disadvantage should be given extra resources for health services, but also for improved education and social services to improve the social determinants of health.”

CHA Election Platform

CHA has launched its 2010 Federal Election Platform, inviting all people or parties seeking election to the House of Representatives and Senate to consider adopting CHA’s policy initiatives as their own.

Election priorities identified by CHA in its election platform include:

  • Adopting a health and aged care workforce plan to meet the population’s care needs of the future
  • Establishing a Health Reform Implementation Advisory Council comprising non-government experts to help the reform process achieve maximum benefits for all Australians
  • Ensuing a choice of quality aged care is available to every Australian who needs it, with a focus on the needs of socioeconomically disadvantaged Australians
  • Improving palliative care services to provide care to all who seek it
  • Establishing a Prime Minister’s Mental Health Summit

Download CHA 2010 Election Platform Download CHA 2010 Election Platform

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