Greens policy offers an achievable response to the modern epidemic of chronic disease

The Consumers Health Forum welcomes the Greens plan announced today to reinvigorate Australia’s ailing provision for the care of the chronically ill.

“This is an ambitious but achievable plan that would benefit millions of Australians living with chronic and complex conditions who currently cannot get the integrated care that should be standard in a prosperous country,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said.

“We know Medicare is not meeting the needs of the chronically ill. Yet we have the skills and the resources to provide effective care in the community.

“The Greens’ policy reflects the aspirations of the Government’s Health Care Homes. It recognises what needs to be put in place to support such a reform, including solid funding, financial incentives for health providers and involvement of Primary Health Networks.

“It very much aligns with our calls for a reboot of primary health care, and with what global evidence is telling us about the importance and cost-effectiveness of investing in integrated primary care.

“What is needed now is commitment from the Commonwealth and state governments to initiate and provide realistic support for locally-based initiatives like the Primary Health Networks.

“We want to see PHNs funded to drive health care homes with clinical and consumer advisors playing central roles --- they are the experts and champions of primary care.

“We need to accelerate local integrated care initiatives. We know when care is poorly integrated consumers have poor experiences and outcomes and that costs the system more. “The Greens’ budget of $4.3 billion over four years may seem high but it is aimed at providing a much more effective response to the modern epidemic of chronic illness. And it represents a fraction of the nearly $100 billion we can expect to spend on Medicare in the same period,” Ms Wells said.


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