Nursing Online – April 2009

A fairer and more effective health system

The release of the National Health and Hospitals Commission Report has stimulated discussion and further reports on health reform.

Health care: Re-framing our thinking – Paper for presentation at Australian Health Care Reform Alliance Conference March 2009
Ian McAuley, University of Canberra and Centre for Policy Development

‘Timid’ is the sharpest summary of the Interim Report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission. Its recommendations and options, while including some sound technical reforms such as electronic patient records and more use of nurse practitioners, generally avoid addressing the major problems in delivery of health care. The Commission has alluded to problems but has ducked the hard questions. In view of the high and rising cost of health care it would be reasonable to expect an inquiry of this nature to ground its work in cost-benefit analysis, but it is weak on economics.

(See article on the Report by the National Hospital and Health Reform Commission on page 26.)

A healthier future for all Australians – Interim Report 2008
National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission

Australia’s health system is in need of reform to meet a range of long-term challenges, including access to services, the growing burden of chronic disease, population ageing, costs and inefficiencies generated by blame- and cost-shifting, and the escalating costs of new health technologies. The Commonwealth Government will establish a National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission to provide advice on performance benchmarks and practical reforms to the Australian health system, which could be implemented in both the short and long term to address these challenges.

Improving maternity services in Australia – The report of the Maternity Services Review February 2009

This Report presents for the consideration of the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon. Nicola Roxon, MP, the findings of the Maternity Services Review (the Review) conducted by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, and led by the Commonwealth Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer, Rosemary Bryant. The Review, including this Report, is a key step towards delivering the Government’s election commitment to develop a National Maternity Services Plan (the Plan).
The aims of this Review were to:

  • Elicit a range of perspectives on maternity services in Australia;
  • Identify key gaps in current arrangements;
  • Determine what change is required;
  • Determine what is needed for change to occur;
  • Inform the priorities for national action; and
  • Development of the Plan.

Snippets of reaction to NHHRC report
Melissa Sweet

The Croakey blog is a forum for debate and discussion about health issues and policy. A range of commentators provided perspectives on the interim report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission.

Reflections on the NHHRC Interim Report
Jennifer Doggett 5 March 2009

Like the very best sort of underwear, the Interim Report from the NHHRC Commission is important as much for what it conceals as what it reveals.