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Health care reform.

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I attach an outline paper I circulated to premiers and chief ministers regarding a process for health care reform.

I assured premiers and chief ministers that all seven areas of reform raised in a paper circulated by them would be included.

I also assured premiers and chief ministers that any agreed reforms could be implemented before the expiry of the five-year Agreements.

Despite this, the premiers and chief ministers, led by Mr Carr, walked out of the meeting.

29 August 2003


Health Reform Review

The Australian Government suggested that COAG agree to commission a review over the next two years into the health system. The purpose of this review would be:

- to ensure optimum efficiency and effectiveness of health service delivery for all Australians; - to ensure best use of the funding that all jurisdictions put into health; and - to identify barriers to seamless service delivery for patients and recommend

options to address them.

The review, would be conducted within the following context:

- That states and territories sign the Australian Health Care Agreements for the next 5 years; - That the principles of Medicare be maintained including access to free treatment as a public patient in a public hospital, payment of a Medicare

rebate at 85% of the scheduled fee for a visit to a GP and subsidised pharmaceuticals under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme; - That the 30% Private Health Insurance Rebate will be maintained; - That there will be financial accountability and transparency for both Commonwealth and state and territory governments in respect of public hospital funding, as outlined in the Australian Health Care Agreements.

Terms of reference and details of review would be agreed by COAG out of session within two months.