By SJA Jafri (Bureau Chief Australia)
CANBERRA: Public hospitals across the country will have record funding for the next five years after all states and territories signed onto the Morrison Government’s new health reform agreement. This record funding agreement will deliver more doctors, more nurses and more services across public hospitals in every state and territory.
This commitment ensures the Australian health system remains stable and nationally coordinated, particularly throughout this unprecedented time. Overall, the Commonwealth will invest an estimated $131.4 billion in demand driven public hospital funding to improve health outcomes for all Australians and ensure the sustainability of our health system now and into the future.
The new 2020 25 National Health Reform Agreement provides an estimated $131.4 billion in additional funding to public hospitals over five years from 2020–21. This is in addition to the over $8 billion health investment by the Commonwealth during the COVID-19 response. As part of the new Agreement, the Morrison Government has provided a funding guarantee to all states and territories to ensure no jurisdiction is left worse off as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, and guarantees the Commonwealth’s funding contribution for public hospitals over the next five years.
This guarantee is critical to ensuring state and territory governments can continue to deliver safe and effective public hospital services for all Australians, especially when all Australian governments are working to respond to the COVID 19 pandemic. Under this Agreement, a small number of very sick children across Australia will receive lifesaving, high cost therapies such as immunotherapy, to reduce and rid cancer from their body, free of charge.
Commonwealth and states have agreed to jointly fund this cancer treatment. Without this support patients could pay around $500,000 per treatment for cancer immunotherapy. States are also funded to deliver more flexible care, including hospital care in the home, to give patients care where and when they need it.
This will include rehabilitation after a stroke in the home. This provides better long term outcomes for patients. It will help many Australians with approximately 50,000 strokes occurring per year. This agreement also builds on the collaboration between the Commonwealth and the states in responding to COVID-19.