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Mark Butler (Supplied)

State and territory hospital funding negotiations are on pause to focus on the overhaul of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, despite public hospitals being under pressure. Source: ABC News.

All state and territory health ministers sent an open letter to Health Minister Mark Butler ahead of a roundtable that was held in Adelaide on Friday and made several demands of the federal government in their open letter, including more funding for public hospitals, as the current funding arrangement is due to run out in a year. 

However, Mr Butler said he had received direction from Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to pause hospital funding negotiations and allow disability negotiations to “catch up”. 

“I’m keen to restart that process as soon as we possibly can, there’s been a really good level of consensus amongst health ministers about what the next possible funding deal should look like. But obviously, we’ve got to wait until disability ministers and others are able to progress their work,” he said.

Last year, the state and territory governments committed at a National Cabinet meeting, to financially contribute to the NDIS scheme, in line with its growth at 4 per cent and capped at 8 per cent – the remainder of the cost growth would be covered by the Commonwealth in July 2028. 

The Albanese Government went into that Cabinet meeting seeking additional support from states and territories as it embarked on reforming the NDIS, which is forecast to grow at 10.4 per cent each year over the next decade, making it the highest-growing government payment.

Mr Butler said those NDIS negotiations were a “little bit behind hospital negotiations, it’s a very big piece of work in the disability reform space”.

The health ministers said the country was in a national crisis, ahead of the Adelaide roundtable. 

“Everywhere in Australia, the health system is under pressure,” the open letter read. 

“This is a national problem that requires a national solution.”


States and territories receive hospital funding negotiation pause to ‘catch up’ on NDIS reform (By Georgia Roberts, ABC News)