Australia’s public hospitals are expected to get a $30 billion funding boost from the federal government, but only if they report strict performance targets, such as infection rates and waiting lists.
The Rudd Government will next week offer the states $70 billion over five years, a 66 per cent increase on the previous deal of $42 billion, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The increase is significantly more than that promised in the budget, in which the federal government only intended to boost funding to $53 billion.
In return for the increased funding, state governments will be expected to report on about 40 performance indicators, including infection rates, avoidable deaths and waiting lists for dental care.
The federal government will also have to detail its performance in the areas it has responsibility for, such as GP waiting times and out-of-pocket medical costs.
The funding announcement follows a damning report by the Australian Medical Association (AMA), released last week, which found hospitals straining under the pressures of overcrowding, unacceptable waiting times in emergency departments, and elective surgery delays.
The AMA called for an immediate $3 billion injection of federal funds each year to fix the crisis.
The federal government’s share of health funding has plummeted in recent years, down from 40 per cent in 2001, to just 33 per cent in 2006-07, the Telegraph reported.