Picture of health: expert panel debate future of health reform
1 May 2014
Eminent health experts agreed on the need for Australia's health care system to put the patient at the centre of any reforms during a forum held at the University of Sydney yesterday.
More than 170 health and business professionals gathered to participate in the interactive panel event on health reform hosted by Professor Kathryn Refshauge, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.
Emeritus Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine, Stephen Leeder AO, moderated the panel discussion which included State Minister for Health, the Hon. Jillian Skinner MP, Liz Forsyth the partner-in-charge of the national health and human services practice at KPMG, and Heather Gray, Chief Executive of the Health Education and Training Institute.
"In the lead up to the Budget, it was revealing to hear directly from our stakeholders about the challenges facing the workforce and their views on the future sustainability of Australia's health care system," Professor Refshauge said.
"There was consensus that the reform agenda needs to be modeled around how the health system can provide seamless, integrated care to meet the needs of the whole person and the community.
"This also has huge repercussions for how we train and prepare our health professionals which was discussed at length."
In her address Minister Skinner spoke about the changing role of health professionals and her vision for more integrated care.
Minister Skinner said we need more: "partnerships which will provide a seamless range of health care services to people who need them, whether that involves hospital treatment or community-based primary health care services provided by general practitioners, pharmacists, or other allied health practitioners."
Attendees at the forum used interactive voting technology to participate in the debate and 71 per cent of guests polled agreed that the biggest challenge facing Australia's health workforce is the ability to adapt different models of service delivery to meet these kinds of challenges.
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