Media Release dt 14/05/2024

Australian Patients Association Responds to 2024 Federal Budget

Health Initiatives Welcome, but Critical Reforms Lacking

The Australian Patients Association (APA) acknowledges the government’s health budget announcements, welcoming support for Australian women with endometriosis and pelvic pain syndromes, and a new medical school for the Northern Territory. While many initiatives are commendable, the APA is compelled to express our disappointment regarding the Government’s lack of a comprehensive health reform agenda.

“The 2024 federal budget continues to pour increased investment into an outdated model that prioritizes volume over value, failing to address the systemic issues that plague our health system. The APA is particularly concerned that these investments do not sufficiently pivot towards models that emphasize quality care and improved patient outcomes” said APA CEO David Clarke.

Dr Nick Coatsworth, the APA’s Ambassador for Health Reform said, “Whilst we welcome the government’s commitment to improving health infrastructure and services, we are deeply concerned about the Government’s ongoing support of the fee-for-service system.”

“Fee-for-service has repeatedly been shown to incentivise doctors to provide unnecessary treatments and interventions, rather than rewarding the health outcomes that matter most to patients.”

“Despite the promise of My Medicare in the 2023 budget, there has been little progress in implementing alternative funding models.  Instead, the Government has directed the overwhelming majority of its funding over three budgets toward propping up fee-for-service.” said Dr Coatsworth.

Mr Clarke added “As we continue to navigate the complexities of healthcare in Australia, it is crucial that our policies reflect the needs of all Australians, ensuring that every citizen has access to high-quality, equitable, and sustainable healthcare. The APA remains committed to working with the government to achieve these essential reforms for the betterment of patient care nationwide.”

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Contacts:

David Clarke, Chief Executive Officer at dclarke@patients.org.au Mobile: 0416 156 923

Nick Coatsworth, Ambassador for Healthcare Reform, Australian Patients Association