Catholic Health Australia welcomes the announcement that the Morrison Government is giving out of hospital care a major boost in Tuesday’s budget saying patients will win out with greater choice about the way they receive care.

CHA put forward a number of recommendations to government in a major report on Out of Hospital care released last month.

The reforms announced on Tuesday night will pave the way for much-needed changes to the health sector and ensure more patients are able to be treated in their own homes. 

CHA’s report Out of Hospital Care in Australia – Advancing Health’s Missing Sector found current funding mechanisms prevented many private health patients from accessing hospital-level care in their home for services such as renal dialysis, mental health, post-natal services, palliative care, and chemotherapy.

CHA Health Policy Director James Kemp applauded the Government’s common sense policy, which begins with mental health and orthopaedics from 1 April 2021.

“This is a timely announcement and one that will be well-received by patients, their carers and clinicians across Australia. It means more of the right care in the right place at the right time and that is a great outcome for patients.

“The key to unlocking the community’s access to out of hospital care is changing the rules around how these services can be paid for by private health insurance. These reforms begin that process and we will continue to work with Government and industry to implement the findings of our report and get the right rules in place come next year.”

Mr Kemp said key to the reform being a success was maintaining high standards of care. “We need patients to be able to trust that the care they receive at home will be just as good as in-hospital care, and for this we need national quality and clinical governance standards on out of hospital care. These standards need to go hand in hand with the changes to the funding mechanisms”.

“Mental health and orthopaedics are a great start, but palliative care is a critical area and the sooner we can implement the reforms that will see private palliative care patients being able to receive the care and support they need in the comfort of their own home, the better.”

Note to editors: Catholic Health Australia (CHA) is Australia’s largest non-government grouping of health and aged care services accounting for approximately 10 percent of hospital-based healthcare in Australia. Our members also provide around 25 percent of private hospital care, 5 percent of public hospital care, 12 percent of aged care facilities, and 20 percent of home care and support for the elderly.


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