As part of Federal Government’s changes to national healthcare system, local hospitals are being streamlined, reorganised and generally developed to fit well into the new system. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government is now opening up the local network development plans for public comments.
Katy Gallagher, ACT Health Minister, says that the Territory will soon have just one network, which will comprise the Canberra Hospital, Calvary Public Hospital, Clare Holland House and a family centre in Curtin.
“It will have a separate funding stream that comes to it and there’ll be a council with a broad experience around health management, business management, consumer experience, [and] clinical experience that sits above that local network.”
Such networks are intended to facilitate local management of health services. They have received criticism from the Opposition. Jeremy Hanson, a Liberal Member of the Legislative Authority, has said that while this kind of networking is relevant in New South Wales or Queensland, it would be redundant in the ACT, which has only two hospitals that are around 15 minute apart.
“To suggest we should be creating a new bureaucracy in order to have a network is completely nugatory and it seems to be something we’ve signed up to without really thinking it through.”