Labor, Catholic Health on same page on waiting lists

The promise of a $600 million injection to help slash waiting lists in Australia's ailing public hospitals, by future Prime Minister hopeful Kevin Rudd, is "very similar" to the scheme Catholic Health Australia has been calling out for.

Mr Rudd and Shadow Minister for Health Nicola Roxon said a Rudd Labor Government will invest $600 million to dramatically cut waiting lists and elective surgery.

This four year plan, beginning in 2007-08, will be funded through a $400 million investment from Federal Labor's Tax Plan for Australia's Future and $200 million from Federal Labor's $2 billion National Health and Hospitals Reform Plan.

Catholic Health Australia chief Francis Sullivan has backed the ALP's pledge to and said the scheme provided a "practical solution to an obvious social problem."

"CHA had called for all parties to devise an elective surgery plan that would address the plight of people who were waiting for longer than clinically reasonable lengths of time, " Mr Sullivan said.

"Obviously the public hospitals should be properly funded to address demand pressures within their clinical capacities.

"However, the private sector can arrange situations to run specific time limited programs funded by the state on a basis similar to the Commonwealth's veteran affairs hospital schemes"

Mr Sullivan said the CHA would support this scheme where it can be integrated into the support for private health insurance.

"Australia's economic situation has provided these resources, it is timely that they can be deployed to meet a growing social problem."

Labor's elective surgery plan supported (Catholic Health Australia 19/10/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Health Australa

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22 Oct 2007