CHA welcomes transitional assistance for aged care providers

As aged care providers prepare for the implementation of the Living Longer Living Better reforms, they will take comfort from the Government's decision to make available transitional assistance to support providers during the reforms' rollout, as the Living Longer Living Better bills await passage in the Senate.

Catholic Health Australia had lobbied for the establishment of some form of assistance for providers, especially smaller providers, whom the Productivity Commission acknowledged in their report Caring for Older Australians could be negatively impacted by certain aspects of aged care reform.

Let's talk about health inequity, not just waiting lists

While people around the country continue to focus on waiting lists in any discussion of health care in Australia, Catholic Health Australia says this morning's report from the COAG Reform Council reveals – once again – the great injustice of health inequity continues to grow in this country.

"The report Healthcare 2011–12: Comparing performance across Australia found its way into today's newspapers with the usual fascination with waiting list times leading the story," Catholic Health Australia CEO Martin Laverty said. 

Health spending largely spared surgeon's knife

Tonight's Budget largely insulated health from major cuts in spending and provided a welcome boost to cancer services, but it failed to plug gaps in public hospital funding – a gap that risks coming back to haunt the Government in the lead-up to the Federal election.

Catholic Health Australia CEO Martin Laverty said Government efforts to fund important reforms in education and disability care could, in time, improve social determinants of health in a country that is currently burdened by unacceptable levels of health inequity. Thankfully, fears that funding those services could have resulted in larger health funding cuts have not been realised.

CHA chair appointed to Vatican health committee

Catholic Health Australia Stewardship Board chair Rowena McNally has been named a board director of the International Committee of Catholic Health Care Institutions, joining Catholic health leaders from around the globe on the Vatican-appointed body.

The appointment of Ms McNally, who has been CHA's chair since August 2012, was announced last week, just two weeks after the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, visited Australia. He spent time at a number of Catholic hospitals and aged care facilities during his 11-day visit.

Aged care legislation must pass, but success of Compact in doubt

A survey of aged care providers reveals one in five will not sign up to the Government's Aged Care Workforce Compact, and a further one in five are unlikely to sign up, putting success of Government plans to tie aged care funding to workplace industrial conditions in doubt.

Catholic providers of 4,318 residential aged care places and 3,327 home care packages responded to the Catholic Health Australia (CHA) survey this month, following the Government's release of details of the Aged Care Workforce Compact.

Senate recommendations must prompt action on social determinants

Two of the largest organisations representing non-government agencies in Australia are calling on politicians across Commonwealth, state and territory governments to implement the recommendations contained in the Senate Community Affairs Committee's report on action on the social determinants of health.

Catholic Health Australia and UnitingCare Australia this morning said their organisations have a long tradition of working to ensure people who are vulnerable, marginalised or living in poverty receive the support they need and deserve. In many cases, those people are susceptible to long-term and chronic health conditions, and governments have a duty to help Australians avoid such circumstances.

Politicians given blueprint for meaningful health reform

Hundreds of thousands of Australians are suffering from ill health because health reforms implemented in recent years aren't having an impact on their lives. Catholic Health Australia CEO Martin Laverty says it's time for political parties to get serious about improving the health of all Australians.

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) today released its Health Blueprint, which outlines six key priorities for how ongoing health reform can be effective and reach those seemingly untouched by previous reforms.

Click here to access the Health Blueprint

Aged care pay increase needs more than workforce compact

The Aged Care Workforce Compact, announced today by Minister Mark Butler, will not see all aged care staff receive pay increases and will not change aged care's low wage status, according to a member of the Minister's Advisory Group that advised on the Compact's content.

Catholic Health Australia CEO, Martin Laverty, who represented Catholic aged care providers on the Minister's consultative group, said it was not clear how many aged care services would take up the new Compact.

Will health ministers act on proposals to solve health workforce challenges?

Allowing non-government health care services to play a greater role in the training of tomorrow's doctors, nurses and allied health professionals would go a long way to solving health workforce problems, Catholic Health Australia CEO Martin Laverty told a national summit hosted by New South Wales Health Minister Jillian Skinner to examine the recent medical internship shortage.

Mr Laverty said the shortage of intern places for last year's record number of medical graduates grabbed headlines, and had various health officials scrambling for answers – answers that Catholic facilities can offer.

Single health funder would end Commonwealth-state blame game

Catholic Health Australia has told a Senate Inquiry looking into public hospital funding that the cost-shifting and blame-shifting inherent in a split funding model between the Commonwealth and states and territories can only be solved by making the Commonwealth Government the sole funder of publicly funded health services.

CHA chief executive officer Martin Laverty addressed the Senate Inquiry into implementation of the National Health Reform Agreement this morning – just hours after Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the Government would reinstate $107 million of funding that was set to be taken out of the Victorian public hospitals budget.

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