The report highlights that public hospitals continue to face a funding crisis – one that is rapidly eroding their capacity to provide essential services to the public.
In previous editions the AMA has commented on the need for a return to greater levels of funding, as has been promised in the past.
The AMA welcomed the additional $2.9 billion over three years in Commonwealth funding announced at COAG in April 2016 – but this was still far short of what is needed. Between 2014-15 and 2015-16 Commonwealth recurrent funding for public hospital services increased in real terms by 8.4 per cent to $20.1 billion, and while the AMA welcomed this one-off boost, it was off a very low base. The Federal long-term average annual growth rate of 2.8 per cent over the last five years and 4.3 per cent over the decade is too low.