Australian healthcare reform

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Australia’s health expenditure totalled Euros 58.6 billion, representing 9.1% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the financial year of 2007–2008, which is the same percentage of GDP as the previous year. Australia’s health expenditure as a proportion of GDP has been comparable to that seen in Europe, with most of its spending coming from the government.

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With the election of the government in 2007, a National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission was established to develop a long-term health reform plan and broaden the healthcare agreements between central government and the US. Under the proposed legislation, central government will retain more tax revenues from the states and territories, becoming the majority funder of all public hospitals and taking full control of doctors and frontline health services in Australia. For the first time the government would directly pay hospitals to deliver treatment to patients.

The bill, designed to save taxpayers Euros 1.3 billion over the next five years is passing through the legislative process. Generics’ producers are unhappy with the medicines pricing component of the plans as they argue that they will face the brunt of the cuts.

At the moment the bill’s progress is stalled, and with a wafer-thin government majority, it is not clear when it will reach the statute books.

Related article

Price cuts, legislation and reforms

Reference

Pharmaceuticals in Australia. Datamonitor Healthcare. April 2010.

Source: Reuters

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