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States are better positioned to run public hospitals

Comments on Stephen Duckett and Peter Breadon "Forget health takeovers, here’s how to fix hospital funding and chronic disease care", 15/07/2015

The best approach still remains to have one layer of governments to be responsible for funding and running public hospitals and it would be better for the state and territory governments to do it with a reallocation of taxes so that the states and territories have a greater tax revenue share than its currently have, so the funding of state level public services comes from their own revenue as opposed to from the Commonwealth.

Alternatively as a second best, it can be shared in terms of funding with a fixed ratio between the states/territories and the Commonwealth, and the states and territories still run the public hospitals.

The Commonwealth should not be given the responsibilities to run public hospitals, given that it lacks the local knowledge and the relevant other expertise to do so. It is not well positioned to run the public hospitals in Australia. With the states and territories retaining the responsibilities to run the public hospitals, there will continue to be the inter-states competition and that is a good thing for the efficiency and quality of public hospitals services.

The Commonwealth should not be greedy in terms of both responsibilities and tax revenue. Otherwise Australia would end up to be a poorer place in terms of health and Australians will suffer from that as a result.

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