Health | Ageing

WA releases blueprint for Healthcare future

Speaking on the release of Western Australia’s Sustainable Health Review Final Report in Perth, Independent Panel Chair, Robyn Kruk AO has said that unless sustainability drivers are put into place and healthcare spending curtailed, healthcare will grow to be 38 per cent of the State budget by 2026-2027.

“The growth in demand, you’ve got a million people turning up in your emergency departments at the moment per year, that’s frightening, a 49 per cent increase (since 2005),” she said.

“(In the review) we have tried to anchor so many issues that make partnership a necessary way of going forward, no longer an optional extra.”

Ms Kruk said there were eight Enduring Strategies and 30 recommendations made in the report that would effectively assist in laying the foundations for the future of WA’s health sector.

The eight Enduring Strategies range from a far greater commitment to collaboration for community-based care; improving mental health outcomes; better beginnings and end of life; person-centred, equitable, seamless access; safety, quality and value through transparency; digital opportunities; culture and workforce; innovation for sustainability.

“They fit the WA set of challenges, but they also align with what the best health systems in the world are doing,” she said.

“This report indicates that health has already made significant inroads, reducing its expenditure (growth per annum) from nine per cent to in order of two per cent in the last two years.

“We argue very strongly for the need to look at the funding footprint to have realistic consideration of demand, to have realistic consideration on the impacts and any government changes – private health insurance is a good example, but also to look at the significant impact that changes in wages policy can have on the health budget.

“In starting the review, the Premier made it clear that this is a period of budget stringency, so the budget always considers opportunities to look at minimising future costs while also improving the quality of care.

“The digital space is such a space of opportunity.

“Digital change in health means safety is in far easier reach, transparency is in reach, efficiency is in reach.

“You have some amazing clinicians here, you lead the area in so much work already in relation to data, it’s making that data available to clinicians to make the best decisions.

“The cabinet has accepted our Enduring Strategies, the cabinet has accepted our recommendations.

“We have given the latitude in implementation to get people to come up with better ways of achieving those directions because the state of knowledge will actually change but we have included a number of very specific priorities that need to be considered in implementation because that’s where the evidence base is.”

WA Minister for Health, the Hon. Roger Cook said the report would lay the foundations for the delivery of health services in WA for the next decade.

“The final report fulfils an important election commitment and I am proud to announce that the McGowan Labor government has endorsed each of the final reports eight Enduring Strategies and 30 recommendations,” he said.

“We need to be serious about how we work together to transform and rebalance our health system.

“The Enduring Strategies of the final report are designed to drive a cultural shift towards focus and investment in prevention and community-based care.

“However, we will also not forget the bricks and mortar of the health estate, which still need to be looked after.

“I’m very pleased to announce the McGowan government will commit to the relocation of the King Edward Hospital to the QEII campus.

“$3.3 million has been allocated in the upcoming state budget to start the crucial first steps in planning for what is a long overdue redevelopment.

“We will work hard within our difficult financial constraints to progress this project as quickly as possible.

“We are all responsible for sustainability and we are pleased to announce the upcoming state budget will commit $26.4 million to begin the implementation of the Sustainable Health Review.

“At times the change journey can be challenging and difficult but for the sake of the substantial health system, sustainable health system, failure isn’t an option and neither is maintaining the status quo.”

Event presentations

The Hon. Roger Cook MLA, WA Deputy Premier; Minister for Health; Mental Health MP3

Robyn Kruk AO, Sustainable Health Review MP3

Moderated discussion MP3

Delegate handout PDF