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Aust Healthcare Hospitals Association welcome new minister

04 December, 2007

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) has welcomed the appointment of Nicola Roxon as Health Minister in the new Rudd Government.

The AHHA is the peak national body representing public hospitals, area health services, community and public aged care services.

"This appointment is great news for the health sector and for the future health of all Australians. Roxon has demonstrated that she understands the important issues in health and is not afraid to tackle some of the underlying problems affecting health care," Prue Power, Executive Director, said.

"In particular we welcome the new Labor Government's commitment to solving problems within our public hospital system. We know that if these problems are addressed, Australia can have a world class hospital system which provides care to all on the basis of need and not the ability to pay.

"We look forward to working with Roxon to reform our current system of hospital funding grants to the States and Territories. We need to move on from the blame shifting of the past towards a system which ensures that all public hospitals can provide high quality care.

"In the renegotiation of the Australian Health Care Agreements (AHCAs) we need to break down the current silos in funding between sectors of the health system and place prevention squarely at the centre of health care delivery.

Unless these changes are made, our health system will struggle to continue to meet the community's demands for high quality care.

"We also welcome Labor's commitment to equity of access to health care and support for targeting areas of need within the health system. In particular we recognise the need to close the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Our goal is a health system which gives everyone the opportunity to maximise their well being and quality of life.

"This will require a concerted effort from all health stakeholders and AHHA is committed to working cooperatively with government, consumers and providers to achieve this important aim.

"AHHA's members congratulate Roxon on her appointment and look forward to working with her to establish a strong, equitable and high quality health system for the future," Power said.