NACCHO political alert: Health policy debate Q and A tonight:Have you submitted a question from your mob yet?


Health policy is up for debate tonite at 9.30 am (Monday April 22 ) on ABC TV’s Q and A program, featuring Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek and the Opposition’s health spokesman Peter Dutton

You can lodge your questions here



Or follow some the commentary on CROAKEY

Some of the comments from our ACCHO’s include

Selwyn Button, CEO, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council
Self-determination and self-responsibility – in recent weeks much has been spoken about the notion of practical reconciliation from the opposition, whilst there is still some talk of self-determination being critically important to improve outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

Conceptually both these discussions a sound in there logic and proposed approach, although still do not go to the heart of real self-determination of ensuring that not only are Indigenous people provided with access to required services, resources and involvement in decision-making about how this happens, but going a step further to give overall autonomy and responsibility for policy, planning, program development, delivery and outcomes to Indigenous people.

This can and should happen particularly in places where there is demonstrated capacity and willingness to take on this challenge and risk associated, although governments are risk averse in nature and generally shy away from this next step.

If Indigenous communities and organisations can demonstrate willingness, understanding, organisational maturity and capacity, perhaps we should take the risk together in order to support improved outcomes. This work is not ground breaking as it has already happened in Canada and NZ with significant results and could provide a template for greater autonomy in delivering services to Indigenous people by Indigenous organisations in or own country. Working alongside this notion is also the importance of Indigenous communities and organisations willing to accept the challenge and demonstrate capacity and leadership in this space for governments to want to take risks. This also would mean that not only are Indigenous communities and organisations willing to accept the challenge, we must also be willing to accept and embrace our failures if it doesn’t work.

Dr Tim Senior, a Croakey contributor and a GP working in an Aboriginal health service in Sydney, has a long list of questions, including:

  • What do you see as the future for Medicare Locals?
  • There is clear evidence that inequalities are a cause of ill health for everyone. How will your government tackle this?
  • Wherever we look, we see that those who need health care the most get the least. This is true in rural and remote Australia, and true in pockets of our cities. How will you address this?
  • How do you plan to increase the capacity of the workforce to manage increasing numbers of people with complex and chronic care needs?
  • How do you plan to incorporate training of health professionals in health services that are already stretched?
  • How do you see the use of e-health and telehealth initiatives in the future? What impact will your National Broadband Network policies have on this?
  • Given that the evidence shows improved health comes from primary care, rather than hospital care, what are your plans to fund high quality primary care?
  • How will you improve the integration of primary and secondary care? What are your plans for improving access to dental care?
  • Do you have any changes planned for the way Medicare funds health services?

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