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Thursday, 22 March 2012
Page: 3952

Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyMinister for Health) (10:09): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Federal Financial Relations Amendment (National Health Reform) Bill 2012 delivers a central component of the Gillard government's national health reform. This bill amends the Federal Financial Relations Act 2009 to enable the Commonwealth to make payments into the new national health funding pool in accordance with the National Health Reform Agreement.

The new arrangements will see Commonwealth and state government funding for local hospital networks channelled through a single pool, the national health funding pool, a joint intergovernmental funding authority with transparent reporting of both Commonwealth and state funding to individual local hospital networks.

Under the National Health Reform Agreement local hospital networks will be funded for the services they provide and funding will be transparently reported. In some circumstances such as in rural and remote areas, block funding will be provided through the states to ensure all Australians receive appropriate access to health services.

The bill also provides for the new payment arrangements associated with the transitioning of responsibilities for aged care and disability services.

The bill includes some minor technical amendments to the GST determination.

These changes will not impact on the total amount of revenue paid to the states and territories.

Debate adjourned.