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Tentative Catholic Health support for ALP health reform agenda

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) welcomed yesterday's Labor's health policy announcement by the Australian Labor Party, but said it was "only part of the story", and CHA "is still waiting for detailed funding commitments by Labor in relation to Medicare rebates and GP bulk billing".

CHA CEO Francis Sullivan said 'Australia has a good health system but it is under increasing pressure. Too many Australians miss out on essential care because there are too many points where the system breaks down through a lack of collaboration between the Commonwealth, State and Territories."

"Health care professionals and policy commentators have been advocating for real reform in the health system for some time. The commitments made by Labor suggest that they have been listening," he said.

But Mr Sullivan insisted that Labor's mooted Health Reform Commission must be about "implementation and getting on with the business of improving the health system, not just talking about it."

"Improving the health system will take strong political leadership by the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments together," he said. "They will need to be prepared to let go of the "us and them" mentality to enable more flexibility at local regional levels and to provide services where and when they are needed."

Catholic Health Australia represents the country's single largest ownership grouping of non government health, aged and community care services.

Labor's health reform agenda - so far, so good (Catholic Health Australia 15/7/04)

Catholic Health Australia
United Labor front on health (The Courier Mail 16/7/04)
A 'new federalism' for health, schools (The Age 16/7/04)
Latham argues for Federal-State Labor governments (ABC Radio The World Today 15/7/04)
Latham promises a new era of national cooperation (ABC TV Lateline 15/7/04)
Latham pledges end to buck passing with united Labor govts (ABC Radio PM 15/7/04)
Labor plans unity on health and education (The West Australian 16/7/04)
Abbott, Nelson criticise Labor's 'pact' (ABC Queensland 15/7/04)
Rewriting the rules on paying for hospitals (The Age 16/7/04)
Commitment to principles must underpin Labors Health Policy (Doctors Reform Society 15/7/04)

16 Jul 2004