Submission to the Senate Select Committee on Health

New Submission

When we surveyed our membership about areas of concern to them in the lead up to the 2013 Federal election, access to quality and affordable health care came out as the number one concern. Some of these concerns have been heightened by measures in the 2014-15 federal budget e.g. the introduction of a GP co-payment, increases in PBS co-payments and decreases in funding to the States and Territories for hospital funding. We have had an increase in members and other older people contacting us with concerns around health care as a result of the budget and the continuing debate around GP co-payments.

COTA has been active in responding to the concerns and the Budget initiatives. We put submissions into the Senate Inquiries into out-of-pocket expenses and proposed increases in PBS co-payments and appeared at the hearings for both inquiries. In addition we put a submission into the Senate Select Committee on Abbott Government Budget cuts and the Senate Inquiry into the extent of income inequality: both of these submissions included some discussion about the importance of looking at the social determinants of health and how income inequality is inextricably linked to inequality in health status.

We have also put submissions into the reviews commissioned by the Minister for Health i.e. the Review of Medicare Locals conducted by John Horvath and the Independent Review of After Hours Care being conducted by Claire Jackson. Copies of our submissions to these two reviews are attached for the Committee's information.

This submission does not go over the ground covered in all of those other inquiries and reviews. Rather we have decided to concentrate on the interaction of the health and aged care systems as identified in (d) of the terms of reference as we believe we have expertise on this issue and can assist the Committee in its examination of this critical interface.

We also make some comments on the need for more effort in the health promotion and prevention arena for older people ((c) in the terms of reference) and we note some considerations regarding health workforce planning ((g) in the terms of reference).

The last part of the submission addresses additional issues which we think are critical namely mental health and end of life care, including palliative care. 

Download COTA's full Submission to the Senate Select Committee on Health

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