Time to Move to a Single Funder Model

The Tasmanian Greens today welcomed the release of a report by independent health analyst Martyn Goddard highlighting the alarming state of Tasmania’s elective surgery services, saying that short-sighted funding injections do not equate to long term solutions for our ailing health system.

Greens Health spokesperson Paul O’Halloran MP said this recent report again highlights the need for structural reform, and called on both State Labor and Liberal parties to unite behind the call for the Commonwealth to support a pilot single funder health model to be trialled in Tasmania.

“This latest report by Martyn Goddard, paints a disturbing picture of Tasmania’s capacity to deliver elective surgery services with the State underperforming all other states and territories,” said Mr O’Halloran. [1]

“I am calling on both Labor and Liberal to put aside political differences for the sake of securing our health system, and present a united tripartite front to lobby the Commonwealth for an immediate commitment to establishing a single funder model pilot trial in Tasmania as a matter of urgency.”

“Mr Goddard’s analysis predicts that unless the system improves dramatically, hundreds of patients on the state’s elective surgery waiting lists will not receive their operations unless their condition deteriorates to the extent they shift into the emergency category.”

“Mr Goddard’s report also states, that even if all the state budget cuts were restored, there still would have been a gap between demand for services and capacity to supply procedures, resulting in a waiting list blow-out.”

“This analysis points to a broader structural problem and raises serious questions about inefficiencies and cost-shifting within the state’s system. Clearly just more money is not the solution.”

“The Greens have stated consistently that quick-fix funding bandaids are failing our health system and in the long term exacerbate the problems we are facing.”

“It has been widely recognised across the health sector that the cost of healthcare is expected to outstrip the entire state budget by 2020. If structural reform does not begin soon our public health system will barely be kept going on critical life-support.”

“A way forward from this mess is the immediate commitment by both the State and Commonwealth to implement the Greens’ call for a pilot single Funder model to be trialled in Tasmania.”

“It would help address health funding inequities and inefficiencies, remove duplication and reduce waste, all of which are hampering our ability to get our public hospitals and our waiting lists onto a sustainable footing.”

“The Greens worked with Mr Goddard in preparing our position on a single funder model, and our 2011 Health Stakeholder’s Forum, in which he participated, unanimously agreed that we should adopt such a model.”

“We need cost-sharing between Commonwealth and State, rather than cost-shifting. Responsibility needs to be taken rather than blame-gaming.”

“If the Federal Government would commit to piloting a single funder model in Tasmania I think we would see improvements across the board,” Mr O’Halloran said.
Paul O’Halloran MP Greens Health Spokesperson Sunday, 17 March, 2013