Catholic Health Australia explained the likely consequences of the Tax Laws Amendment (Medicare Levy Surcharge Thresholds) Bill, including increases in public hospital surgery waiting times, longer waiting times for those needing cataract surgery or joint replacements, increased costs on public hospitals and over $400 million lost from the operational budgets of private hospitals.
Responding to the development of a new women's health policy, Catholic Health Australia is broadly supportive of the key elements in the discussion paper, particularly a focus on gender equity. But CHA argues that social factors such as education level, home life and their financial resources are sometimes stronger influencers on a person's health and well-being than biomedical factors.
1 The central place of health in Australia's social policy agenda: Addressing the social determinants of health to achieve social inclusion.
Labelling the identification, training, employment and retention of staff as the most challenging issue confronting health and aged care services, Catholic Health Australia led its Budget submission with two immediate, low-cost measures to help address the health workforce shortage.
Catholic Health Australia issued a submission in response to the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission report, congratulating the commissioners on their paper but acknowleding that the Government still has to form and finance its response to the recommendation. CHA said beyond a focus on hospital funding, the Government should ameliorate the social determinants of health; reduce regulation on aged care services; and give new recognition to palliative care to prioritise dignity of the dying.
Catholic Health Australia made a submission in response to the National Medical and Health Research Council's paper, National Guidance on Collaborative Maternity Care.
Further funding cuts to pathology will lead to the sector being dominated by one or two corporate entities and would be especially difficult for Catholic not for profit providers, Catholic Health Australia has warned the Department of Health and Ageing.
When the final report of the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission was presented to Government, there was anticipation that many of its recommendations would lead to vast improvements in the health of all Australians. Many health providers, of which the Catholic Church is one, lament that much of the Commission's reform vision has not been addressed by the Council of Australian Governments.
The legislative arrangements to fund the new National Health and Hospitals Network should ensure transparency and equitable treatment in the funding flows between the Commonwealth, State based joint funding authorities, Local Hospital Networks and ultimately to hospitals, CHA's submission state. It is also important to retain the autonomy of Catholic public contract hospitals within Local Hospital Networks (LHNs). For more detail and CHA's other recommendations: