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NSW is in the process of implementing Australia's health reforms which were agreed in 2010. The most relevant change affecting both the health workforce and the public is the establishment of Local Health Networks which, in NSW, will replace the existing eight Area Health Services. The new 15 LHNs will comprise a single hospital or group of hospitals and other health services that are geographically or functionally linked.
In response to the Garling Report, the NSW Department of Health has created the "four pillars" of reform advocated by Garling: the Bureau of Health Information, the Clinical Excellence Commission, the Agency for Clinical Innovation and the Institute for Medical Education and Training. This report will describe these agencies and evaluate their potential impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of the NSW health system.
In 2007 the Rudd Labor government was elected on a platform of health reform. In 2008, it formed the National Health and Hospitals Commission to inform its policy decisions; the NHHC reported in early 2009. In March 2010, after coming under pressure for delaying its response, the government announced its proposals for an overhaul of the health system, involving taking control and revenue away from the States and forming small hospital "networks". The plan has not been welcomed by some States.
The Australian government's intervention in the Northern Territory (NT) is the largest whole of government initiative ever undertaken in Australia. The government set up the NT Emergency Response Taskforce to oversee the implementation of the emergency measures aimed at protecting children in Aboriginal communities and normalising services and infrastructure in a sustainable way. Health interventions form a small but important part of the Response, largely centering on child health checks.
On the 30th of June 2009 the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) released its final report. In total the report contained 123 recommendations grouped into four themes. One of the most radical and perhaps controversial suggestions is to develop a ?single health system? through a new Health Australia Accord. The new governance model has been named Medicare Select and will be the focus of this report.
The Australian Government has committed to the development of the country's first National Primary Health Care (PHC)Strategy. An External Reference Group has produced a Discussion Paper, intended to provide a broad framework and basic information on key issues for PHC. It proposes 10 elements which could underpin a future PHC Strategy. A snapshot of each element is used to ask what happens now, what this means for community, consumers, health professionals, where could changes be made?
As part of an overhaul of the current healthcare system, a proposal has been released to introduce a AUS$4 billion universal dental scheme. The proposed scheme to be called ?Denticare? would be funded through a taxpayer levy and would provide access to preventative and restorative care and dentures.
The National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) released its interim report. NHHRC was created by the Government to develop a long-term reform plan for the Australian Healthcare System. The Government envisaged it would provide a blueprint for tackling challenges such as the growing burden of chronic disease, population ageing, the rising costs of new technologies and the cost and inefficiencies generated by the ?blame game? - cost shifting between the Commonwealth and the States.
Australia has a sound safety record in maternity care but there are concerns that women have a lack of choice with respect to types of care they can access, and that good maternal health outcomes are not consistent across the country and population groups. As part of its election commitments, the new federal goverment promised to reform maternity services. As one of its first steps it conducted a review of maternity services. This survey reports on the outcomes of the review report.
In the lead up to the 2007 Federal election the then opposition party announced that it would support the establishment of so called "GP super clinics". The aims of these clinics are to firstly encourage general practitioners (GPs) to practice in parts of Australia where there are identified shortages. Secondly, the super clinics aim to deliver more services to the community including allied health services and place a stronger focus on preventive health services and chronic disease management.