It is an exciting time for national health reform implementation as many new initiatives start to become operational. Legislation to enable the establishment of new national bodies to drive improved standards and performance across the health system is now before Parliament; and Australia’s first Medicare Locals have commenced work.
Significantly, a new agreement on national health reform was agreed by all governments on 2 August. The National Health Reform Agreement cements the commitment made by all governments at the 13 February Council of Australian Governments’ meeting, to work together to reform the health system to ensure its future sustainability. Under the agreement, the Commonwealth, states and territories have agreed to major reforms to the organisation, funding and delivery of health and aged care.
To assist stakeholders and the public in understanding details of the agreement, the Department of Health and Ageing has been conducting a series of national health reform briefings around the country. The briefings have been well attended and question and answer sessions from these engagements will soon be published on the yourHealth website.
On 7 September, the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Nicola Roxon MP, released an implementation plan outlining the major milestones and timelines for implementing national health reform.