6 March 2012

Should federal health funding be rigidly tied to head of population?

| johnboy
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Liberal Senator Gary Humphries is drawing our attention to the low level of health funding for Canberra under the Medicare Locals system:

The Medicare Locals system will see $493 million go to coordinating primary healthcare delivery across Australia but only 0.85% of that amount will find its way into the capital’s healthcare system.

“About 1.5% of Australians live in Canberra, and many more use Canberra as a regional health delivery centre.

“Canberrans are already dealing with some of the longest hospital waiting times, and some of the most expensive healthcare in the country, and the best that Labor can do is throw less than 1% of a national funding initiative at the problem”, Senator Humphries said today.

“The correspondence I have received back from the federal health department proves just how little the Labor Government knows and cares about Canberra.

“The amount of Federal funding the ACT will get is nowhere near enough and will do very little to relieve the burden on our struggling healthcare sector. Unfortunately it will also do very little to see that the people who need good and timely health care, get it.”

Further information acquired by Senator Humphries shows that none of the three federal Labor representatives ever approached the Health Minister to discuss the grants or petition for any allocation.

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No it shouldn’t be, it should all be based on providing the same basic level of service to everyone in the country.

Having said that it suprises me the ACT is below ‘average’, I would have thought with our low population and the fact we provide service for much of southern NSW that we would be above the average.

devils_advocate1:04 pm 06 Mar 12

probably wouldn’t work in regional areas with sparely distributed populations. For example, there are probably economies of scale in terms of the physical health infrastructure as well as the professionals that staff them. It is probably cheaper per head of population to provide health infrastructure in a densely populated area like Canberra where it’s relatively easy to attract health professionals to live and work, compared to rural or regional areas. So the result would be much lower levels of services in those areas. Whether that’s an appropriate outcome or not I don’t know.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back12:56 pm 06 Mar 12

Welcome to living in a rusted-on Labor town…

Tetranitrate12:09 pm 06 Mar 12

“Should federal health funding be rigidly tied to head of population?”
Of course it should, but since:
A: there’s no votes from the rest of the country for helping Canberrans.
B: Canberra won’t every vote out it’s Labor MP’s, let alone over a single issue.
the government gains absolutely nothing for fixing the problem, and I’d suspect the state governments of NSW and Victoria (who’d probably benefit most from the existing system) might kick up a stink.
Only thing would be if the problem of people not being registered or whatever significantly affects say, Queensland, SA or WA in which case maybe there might be some incentive.

(for B: okay – unless it’s a bi-election for an unpopular government and the sitting MP has stepped down over corruption, in which case they’ll vote them out then vote the ALP back in at the next general election)

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