Health: the missing election debate


MIDWAY through the election campaign, the focus has yet to swing to health and healthcare. According to the ABC’s policy comparison tool, Vote Compass, health is rating well behind the economy, which is by far the most important election issue for voters.  Given the challenges of budget sustainability, workforce productivity and the ageing population – all of which are affected by healthcare – it is surprising that there is not a greater focus on how the health budget, which is 16 per cent of the federal budget, is spent.

The fact that health is not figuring as a funding contest – or even as a source of major policy differences – in the campaign has not deterred peak health and medical bodies from putting forward arguments and demands for how health spending and programs should be managed under any incoming government. Here, they have something in common with the major political parties – there is no vision; instead, entrenched positions and demands are being reiterated…

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