Health Reform in Australia

It is coming into federal election time in Australia. This weekend I am off to Canberra to meet with two ngo’s in the health industry, and meet with parliamentarians (See my rural health pages). We have been trying to talk to the Commonwealth Government for some year now about major health reform in the nation. The stakes for the communities are high: a growing aged population and a decreasing child population means that by 2020 the health industry will have almost zero workforce entry and massive more work. The indigenous community has a life expectancy some 20 years lower than the average. In rural and remote Australia we can’t recruit professional workforce. Meanwhile the Australian economy has never been in a better situation for spending more on a major health reform policy. So it is despairing to see the government splashing money on marginal electorates while keeping real reform at arms length. It seems a terribly careless attitude. Still, we shall talk our heads off to politicians to try to persuade some movement.

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