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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 1043..


MR QUINLAN

(continuing):

The revised financial statements outline, for those affected agencies, revised financial budgets, output statements and performance schedules in accordance with the bill. The report also presents the revised financial statements for the territory.

Paper

Mr Wood

presented the following paper:

Cultural Facilities Corporation Act, pursuant to subsection 29(3)-Cultural Facilities Corporation-Quarterly report for the second quarter of 2002-03: 1 October to 31 December 2002.

Progress towards new Australian health care agreements

Ministerial statement

MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (3.34): I ask leave of the Assembly to make Ministerial statement concerning progress towards new Australian health care agreements.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL

: Mr Speaker, the Australian health care agreements-formerly known as the Medicare agreements-have been a cornerstone of Medicare for the past 20 years. The AHCAs are the main agreements between the Commonwealth and each state and territory for funding public hospitals and other health services.

Each AHCA runs for five years and the current round of agreements are due to expire on 30 June this year. The ACT receives about $91 million per annum under the current AHCA. The process of renegotiating the AHCAs has commenced, and there are a number of key challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed.

The focus of the current agreements is on public hospital services, but health services are changing and the agreements also need to change, to reflect the way health services are now provided. More and more care is now being provided to patients outside hospitals. Many types of care, such as dialysis and cancer treatments, which were once provided to people in hospital wards, are routinely provided on a same-day basis, and often in community-based settings or in people's own homes.

Technology has also improved dramatically, allowing, for example, procedures such as stenting for the treatment of blocked coronary arteries to become commonplace in replacing, or even delaying, open heart surgery.

Mr Speaker, our ability to keep people out of hospital through improved community-based services has also increased. Those services are providing benefits such as improved quality of life and independence for people in the community. Our problem, however, is that the arrangements under the current health care agreements do not recognise changing health needs and changed service delivery models.


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