New health blame game could be in store
Establishing Local Hospital Networks and regional Primary Health Care Organisations (PHCOs) could create a new frontier for the ‘blame game’ within the health system.
Addressing a forum hosted by the Australian National University, RDAA CEO Steve Sant warned the bodies might use each other as scapegoats if the system did not work.
“Are we going to see another report in a few years titled Shifting the Blame Game about the networks blaming PHCOs and vice versa because they have not changed the health outcomes of [those] they serve?” he asked.
Philip Davies, professor of health systems and policy at the University of Queensland, agreed and said significant efforts would be needed to ensure the two bodies cooperated effectively.
“Those different organisations are essentially drawing on the same pool of funds,” he said.
“I’m not sure a couple of cross-board memberships will be enough to get them cooperating, because they’ll have a very clear focus on hospital services on one hand, or primary care on the other,” he said.
“There is a real risk of ending up with a sort of proxy blame game being played out between the PHCOs as proxy of the Commonwealth and the networks... as proxy of the states,” he said.
AMA president Dr Andrew Pesce said until the Government implemented a single funder, the temptation to shift costs and blame would remain.
“I’m still a little bit disappointed in the overall lack of resolution of that fundamental division... within our health system,” he said.