Mr Francis Sullivan, who heads Catholic Health said the Federal Government must take responsibility for hospitals and put more money into the system, The Catholic Weekly reported.
While the Howard Government has suggested Australia’s 750 public hospitals should establish community boards with the power to appoint chief executives from next year in a bid to boost accountability and improve patient care, Mr Sullivan believes this endeavour will not fix the many problems.
“It doesn’t make it any easier to acquire doctors and nurses,” Mr Sullivan said.
“It doesn’t mean that more funding comes to the hospitals, and it certainly doesn’t mean that automatically the quality of the hospitals services improve.”
Health Minister Tony Abbott, who criticised State Governments for micro-managing public hospitals, said the community boards would reduce bureaucracy and tackle “systemic malaise” in the public system.
However, Mr Sullivan said Mr Abbott was implying all would be well if there were local community boards.
“But local boards can only manage with what they have been given, and most hospitals are not being given enough to solve the problems.
“This is an issue about funding and resources – it’s not an issue of management.” he said.
Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd said the Coalition policy would create administrative chaos by creating “layer upon layer” of bureaucracy and that the answer would be federal takeover of state hospitals in 2009 if standards have not improved.
Public system needs more cash - Catholic Health (The Catholic Weekly, 25/10/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Health Australia
Liberal Party of Australia - Federal Election 07
Labor Party- Kevin 07
Labor, Catholic Health on same page on waiting lists (CathNews, 22/10/07)
NetAct, (CathNews, 15/10/07)
Catholic Health backs Govt aged care package (CathNews, 12/02/07)