Interim Senate Report into Government health policies

On 2 December 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Health released its First Interim Report into the Federal Government’s health policies.  In relation to replacing Medicare Locals with Primary Health Networks, the Interim Report estimates that the restructure may cost up to $112 million. 

The Interim Report cited evidence that Medicare Locals had improved health outcomes by promoting better integration of primary care services and reducing the need for individuals to seek hospital care.  The Interim Report recommends that the Primary Health Network tender include, among other things, clear statements, outcome measures and data collection expectations relating to the population health needs to be addressed and a statement on the expected outcomes in relation to improving access to and integration of primary care services.

The Interim Report also recommends that the Government abandon its proposed $7 co-payments.

The Committee will continue receiving submissions until 23 January 2015, with the Final Report due to be tabled in the Senate on 20 June 2016.

To view the Interim Report, click here.

Legislation

Royal Assent for legislation to enable the recovery of past home care costs under the compensation payment reduction scheme

We previously reported on the Health and Other Service (Compensation) Care Charges (Amendment) Bill 2014 (Cth) and Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (Cth).  Both Bills received Royal Assent on 4 December 2014 and will commence on 1 July 2015.

To view our previous report, click here.

To view the Bills as passed by both Houses, click here and here.

News

Commonwealth receives Mental Health Review Final Report

On 10 December 2014, the National Mental Health Commission delivered the 2014 Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services to the Commonwealth Government.  The review examined existing mental health programmes and services across all levels of government, as well as the private and non-government sectors.

To view the Terms of Reference, click here.

General Practice Training Statement

On 16 December 2014, the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners met with Minister for Health Peter Dutton for further discussions on the future of general practice training.  At the meeting, the proposed GP Training Committee was confirmed as a viable model, which will focus on ensuring quality GP training and agreed outcomes for training. 

The Committee will be comprised of representatives from the ACRRM, RACGP, General Practice Registrars Australia, General Practice Supervisors Australia and the Department of Health.