The Turnbull Government’s failure to allocate a single extra dollar to the Health Care Homes pilot ignores the feedback of every major health group in the country.
Stakeholders have been pleading for the Government to allocate more funding, however reports today confirm that the Government hasn’t listened and will roll-out an underfunded and underdone policy.
This is extremely concerning, given the botched rollout to date including confusing information and retractions from the Department, and the fact that the Government hasn’t even notified practices if they have successfully applied – despite the trial due to start in only two months’ time.
The warnings have been clear:
“The implementation of the Health Care Home, including the model, the tiers, and supporting practice tools, has been rushed and risks undermining this vital opportunity to get the model right.”[UNITED GENERAL PRACTICE AUSTRALIA, MEDIA RELEASE, 29 NOVEMBER 2016]
“The Federal Government’s Health Care Homes model is inadequately funded and will not improve health outcomes for millions of Australians living with chronic and complex conditions… At best, it is two year underfunded trial on the effects of inadequate capitation funding.”
[ROYAL AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF GENERAL PRACTITIONERS, MEDIA RELEASE, 6 NOVEMBER 2016]
It is also clear that much work still needs to be done before the trial is ready to proceed, with key details and resources not yet available. This, along with inadequate funding, undermines the potential for the trial to succeed – meaning that patients will not be able to access the improved care they deserve in the community, leaving them at greater risk of hospitalisation.
[AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, PRE-BUDGET SUBMISSION]
“We share the concerns of all other stakeholders that the current funding for the implementation of the model appears inadequate.”
[CONSUMERS’ HEALTH FORUM, PRE-BUDGET SUBMISSION]
Labor supports patient-centred medical homes, which is why we went to the election with a $100 million commitment to develop and roll out new models of primary care.
On the other hand, the Government’s underfunded Health Care Homes invests no new money, and comes at a time when they have cut billions from primary health care via their freeze on Medicare rebates.
The Government has done nothing but ask doctors and other health providers to do more and more with less and less – and as a result patients will continue to pay the price.
FRIDAY, 28 APRIL 2017