21 April 2010

Stanhope crapping rainbows over health deal

| johnboy
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[UPDATE: The Green’s Amanda Bresnan is happy about the new money but disappointed the reform agenda has been squibbed.]

The Chiefly Stanhope is over the moon with yesterday’s health deal and apparently the ACT is going to get everything we ever wanted out of it.

The silence of the Liberals since the deal was announced suggests this might be true.

Apparently the dead weight of surrounding NSW is to be lifted from our health service’s chest. Amongst the goodies we’re getting are:

    — 22 new sub acute hospital beds ($26 million);
    — 1 additional operating theatre ($2.5 million in capital funding);
    — $8 million over 4 years to cut emergency department waiting times;
    — $4 million in capital funding for emergency departments;
    — $10.4 million over 4 years for elective surgery, equating to more than 350 extra elective surgeries a year by 2013-14;
    — $3.2 million in flexible funding to be delivered at emergency departments or for elective surgery;
    — $3 million for sub-acute services (under the multipurpose services funding);
    — $4.5 million for aged care-type patients in hospitals

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Doh. Very funny.

Should have said: half of our total budget goes to health.

housebound said :

Somewhere I remember seeing that about half of our health budget goes to health

Where does the other half of our “health” budget go then?

Health minister and Tresurer Katy Gallagher has revealed that the Commonwealth part takeover of the ACT’s hospitals is now going to cost us as much as 51% of our GST take – not the 30% the other states and territories will lose.

The Liberals are very upset about the extra cost. I haven’t seen what the Greens have to say on this point.

Katy said she had already told us all it would cost us more (it was on the box), but it would all go to hospitals anyway. My limited googling skills can’t find a public reference to anything other than 30%, and the Stanhope press release linked to by the OP didn’t mention cost.

Somewhere I remember seeing that about half of our health budget goes to health – but that’s not just the hospitals. That half also includes preventative programs, public health initiatives etc (all that stuff you don’t have to go to a hospital to get done).

So what are we really going to lose out of all this?

Anything has got to be better than the way things are, a friend waited 7 hours at the Canberra hospital in servere pain, after being sent there by her GP, with no results, they advised that she wait for her appointment for pain management, what a joke

How much for the Ambos that respond to calls for assistance by drunks?
Tack on the additional cost of other services like police which ambos need when going into areas of high drunken assults – with a pub up the road that sells Grog on layby.

Then tack on the fact they want more population with an increased rate of drunken assult that results in a person being disabled for live, and in many cases needing care

How much was that secret donation from Grog Execs to your political party worth Mr Rudd?

Another half-arsed idea Kevinstilllivingin07 thought up over his brekky and scrawled on a napkin to be rushed through in a month.

The reality is that the 5 states and 2 territories signed up to the agreement after they were guaranteed more money than they were losing (just) and that they ensured their kingdoms ability to help spend the funds was not lost, giving another layer of active government intervention to the healthcare system. Kev can’t please WA easily, they already have plenty of mining money.

We now have a so called healthcare agreement which runs for only the next 10 years, and is still half of the current arrangements they’ve now added in the federal government to have their say for the other half.

Another promise of Kev’s down the drain, no significant action by the states/territories in healthcare and no promised complete take over. We get a bit of a re-jig of the funding for the next 10 years and the rest stays the same. Either take it over completely or completely reform the funding system.

A Noisy Noise Annoys An Oyster said :

As Whinging Wendy in her kitchen said in the election ads of 1987: “Where’s the money coming from?”

Kevin and Julia’s Secret Stash… courtesy of Scrooge McHoward.

A Noisy Noise Annoys An Oyster4:48 pm 21 Apr 10

As Whinging Wendy in her kitchen said in the election ads of 1987: “Where’s the money coming from?”

The other saving, which no one seems to have discussed in detail (not here, in the papers etc) is the cost of having states fund hospitals and the Cth fund non-hospital care.

For example – there is an incentive for states to ‘short staff’ emergency depts (state funded) so people go to a GP (Cth funded via medicare). And, to stop emergency depts shifting people out of their waiting room into a GPs waiting room (ie shifting costs from states to the Cth), you cannot (I understand) currently have a GP clinic co-located on hospital property. If there was one funding mechanism, then you can provide both in the same place and people can go to the appropriate service, without any cost shifting occuring (since the same body funds both). And presumably it will be cheaper, because GPs are cheaper than emergency departments.

Similarly, people are in hospital (state funded) rather than nursing homes (Cth funded) because there is no incentive for the Cth to increase nursing home funding – it can pass the cost of caring for those people onto the states. Despite it being cheaper and much better for people to be in nursing homes. Again – is this issue overcome by the Rudd changes?

If they are then they would surely generate savings across health spending as a whole, along with making it more likely people receive what they need rather than receive the funding distorted service that is actually available.

Then again, I haven’t followed the numbers too closely – I may be totally wrong. Is there anyone with a better understanding who can comment?

I just wonder if all the money the feds are getting from states and territories will be put back into health, or just some of it…

Is this just Rudd’s way of financing his massive spending debt by taking advantage of the states and territories?

Having said that, it appears the ACT will do better out of it than other states, especially since the South-East NSW area piggybacks on ACT hospitals anyway.

Yeah but if you were already going to pay $282m for $282m worth of stuff then why not just cough it up to someone else for $61.6m worth of bonus extras. How much does ACT usually pay on health and hospitals? I have no idea. If it’s at least $220m then yay!

Jimbocool writes “I don’t see how paying $282m for $61.6m worth of extras is a good deal…”

That’s an improvement on the ratio of benefit I get from paying for private health insurance

That said, I support the move by Labor. Something had to be done to improve services. Hopefully this will work.

Not sure if I’m missing something but, from that list we get $61.6m of extra stuff but to get it we gave up 30% of our GST take ($942m in 2010-2011) that is $282m. I don’t see how paying $282m for $61.6m worth of extras is a good deal…

I reckon he’s got every reason to be happy about the outcome. Anything that gets more money into our health care must be a good thing. I was a bit concerned at the offer being tied in to a larger slice of the GST pie though… I forget if that tactic is normal, or if it was normalised by Howard.

Actually, haven’t heard a peep out of the Greens anywhere, for that matter.

A bit more detail would be good – like how are they going to actually do it other than throw around buckets of money? Maybe everyone’s waiting for more detail.

And you’re right. The federal Libs have been very quiet. Not so the WA Libs who are still standing their ground, or the ACT Libs, who have put out small comments here and there.

I have bad feelings about this……

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