Australia is posed at the beginning of a major voyage into health reform that has the potential to deliver very real benefits in terms of health outcomes and quality of life. However translating promises into action will require a concerted consultative process on planning and reform, development and agreement on performance indicators, and the ability to move simultaneously on a number of fronts while confronting vested interests opposed to change.
As the Government moves to tackle its election commitments in health, it must juggle the information flow from a range of new working groups, advisory committees and commissions, assess and develop policies, and then implement agreed policies and performance indicators into funding agreements. This paper examines the issues that are likely to arise in this process.
The ongoing NHS reform saga of the past decade holds many lessons for health reform in Australia that should not be ignored.