Australian Greens health spokesperson and former GP, Dr Richard Di Natale, today proposed a new way forward in health reform that doesn’t target patients.
“The Greens will stand firmly against any health reforms that reduce access or fairness, but there is another way forward,” said Senator Di Natale.
“We have an excellent health system in Australia and while there is no evidence that spending is spiralling out of control, the Greens always believe in preparing for long term challenges and following evidence-based policy.
“The Greens propose establishing an Australian Institute of Clinical Excellence (AICE), led by the medical profession and consumer groups, to identify areas of wasteful expenditure in health.
“The Institute would identify high priority areas for health technology assessment and list the ineffective and low-value items of MBS and PBS expenditure to be removed, replaced or curbed.
“It would also identify priority areas where health practice has changed so dramatically that current Medicare rebates no longer represent the true value of providing that service.
“The Health Department has itself indicated up to $15 billion of waste in the health system and the Greens believe that this is the area that must be targeted, rather than trying to shift costs onto patients.
“There are many other areas of health reform that the Greens could propose but we are putting this constructive proposal forward now because the Health Minister’s comments suggest this might be an area of common ground."