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Public Hospital Management Boards Are Part Of The Solution - Australian Medical Association

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AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said today that the Coalition's policy announcement for local community-controlled management boards for major public hospitals in NSW and Queensland is a step in the right direction, but more detail on how the policy would roll out nationally is needed.
Dr Pesce said the AMA has for some time been calling for more clinical input to public hospital management at the local level.
"The Coalition's proposal is heading in the right direction in terms of clinical engagement in decision making," Dr Pesce said.
"It would ensure that the clinicians who diagnose, treat and care for patients have direct input to the administration, management and funding decisions at the hospital level.
"However, it is not clear from this announcement what the Commonwealth and State responsibilities would be in terms of funding and ownership of public hospitals.
"Nor is there any indication what the Coalition has in mind for the other States and Territories.
"The state of our public hospitals in a national problem that needs national solutions.
"There was no mention today of how to end the 'blame game' between the Commonwealth and the States.
"The proposed local boards cannot operate in isolation.
"Resource allocation decisions are made at all levels of the health system - national, State and regional - but there is no mention of funding arrangements in today's announcement.
"Whether the boards are local, regional, State, or national, they will all fail without a significant boost to public hospital funding.
"The AMA believes that there needs to be a mechanism for clinician engagement and involvement in decision making and resource allocation at all levels of the health system.
"We note also that the Prime Minister has recently expressed support for more clinician involvement in public hospital decision making at the local level. We may be on the way to a rare bipartisan approach to public hospital management.
"Today's announcement by the Coalition will help elevate the health policy debate to its rightful position as the number one issue for the Australian public in an election year," Dr Pesce said.
Australian Medical Association
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