Health Policy

All health services must be accessible to all consumers. Those consumers who are forced to travel long distances for health care must be adequately catered for. There should be more community participation in health and community service. There is a need for adequate representation at local and regional health services. CPSA opposes a two-tier system of health care where those using the public system receive an inferior service and wait unacceptably long periods of time to access health services, while people with the ability to pay for private health services receive a higher standard of healthcare. CPSA actively supports the retention of Medicare and bulk billing and opposes the privatisation of health services.

CPSA adopts the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) principles for health reform, namely:

  • Universal access funded by tax contributions
  • Equity of health outcomes
  • Primary health care emphasising prevention and health promotion
  • A special focus on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians
  • Health service appropriateness, safety and quality
  • Engagement with the community to determine the nature of reform
  • An adequate health workforce
  • An integrated, efficient, evidence based health system.

CPSA believes in:

  • The pooling of public health funds nationally, devolving to flexible distribution based on regions.
  • A national audit of current health expenditure and needs.
  • The need for comprehensive monitoring of outcomes of care that includes mandatory reporting of adverse events through open disclosure.
  • An evaluation of the policy of using public funds to subsidise private health insurance.
  • The need for increased information sharing, including through an electronic health record, to improve effectiveness and patient safety.
  • Increased investment in health services research, with findings made public.

Essential health reform must involve: 

  • Universal access – all Australians should have access to an appropriate service on the basis of health needs, not the ability to pay. Health care should be tax funded, enabling the Australian community to provide health insurance to each other.
  • Equity of health outcomes irrespective of socio-economic status, race, cultural background, disability, mental illness, age, gender or location.
  • A shift in focus and funding towards a primary healthcare system that is focused on health promotion and illness prevention. In this integrated primary health care system, health professionals will deliver care in a multi-disciplinary team-based environment.
  • Additional funding on a sustained basis to address the health of Indigenous Australians and to help meet the target of equal health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians within a generation.
  • Investment to provide a sustainable health workforce that is sufficient in number as well as geographically dispersed to provide safe, high quality care to all people regardless of location.