We have a Plan for Real Action

8. Deliver better health

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We will deliver better health services by increasing co-operation with the states and territories – empowering local hospital boards, communities and experts to improve the performance of hospitals at the local level.

Affordable, Quality Health Care

Tony Abbott and the Liberals stand for direct action to put decision-making on hospitals back in the hands of local doctors and nurses. Because even though Mr Rudd says “the buck stops with me”, he’s done nothing to change a decade of State Labor failure. We believe that all Australians should have access to an affordable, quality health care system regardless of whether they live in the city or in regional areas.

Improving the performance of public hospitals at the local level

We will work with the States to ensure their hospitals are managed by local hospital boards so that communities get better health services and better value for their money.

We will put local communities and experts, not unaccountable bureaucrats, in charge of improving the performance of public hospitals – by creating community-controlled hospital boards to appoint the CEO and manage hospital budgets, by instilling a ‘patient care first’ culture amongst staff and ensuring the delivery of better health outcomes at the local hospital level.

Improving mental health services

We will deliver better mental health services and provide better employment services for people with a mental health issue.

We will take real action and support better mental health services with Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres (EPPICs); boosting of basic and applied research into mental health; new headspace sites; better employment opportunities to those with serious mental health problems, boosting outside services that job agencies can provide to clients with mental health issues and a Mental Health Workforce Training Institute.

Funding diabetes research

We will provide $35 million to help find a cure for type 1 diabetes. This will assist the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Clinical Research Network to fund a significant number of additional patient trials locally and internationally and take a co- ordinated nationwide approach to diabetes research.

Improving access to medicines

We will restore transparency, certainty and confidence to the process by which medicines are listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) – ensuring medicines are listed on the basis of advice from the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, not on the whim of the government.

Improving private health insurance

We will strengthen Medicare and take pressure off the public hospital system by restoring the Private Health Insurance Rebate as soon as we responsibly can. This will encourage more Australians to take up private health insurance.

Bringing dental into Medicare

We aspire to improve and restore dental services through Medicare as soon as we responsibly can.