George Institute welcomes government health package for the chronically ill

Vlado Perkovic, Executive Director of The George Institute for Global Health, said today’s announcement by the Federal Government promised dramatic improvements in the treatment of people with chronic disease.

The Government announced it will trial the introduction of a new package for primary care on around 65,000 people with chronic illnesses at up to 200 general practises across the country. Tailored care packages will be developed in partnership with patients and their families, new “health care homes” will coordinate the care, and bundled payments will be introduced for GPs.

“It will allow the large number of people with chronic conditions to have their needs addressed in a much more effective way than the current system, ensuring people get the care they want and need,” Professor Perkovic said.

He added: “It will allow people to nominate a GP who will take responsibility for planning and co-ordinating all of their health care needs going forward, rather than just dealing with individual issues as they arise. The priority for this new approach has to be people with chronic illness because they have the greatest need for this coordinated approach. But many other aspects of healthcare, especially preventative care, could strongly benefit from the broadening of this new system. But first we need to make sure the new system works as planned.”

The George Institute for Global Health published a paper last year - Investing in healthier lives: Pathways to healthcare financing reform in Australiawhich called for an overhaul of the way people with chronic and complex condition are treated. It included recommending a blended payment system to help coordinate the management of people with long term and chronic conditions, create the right incentives for patient-centred care and address some of the current drivers of unnecessary cost escalation, whilst preserving elements of the current system that work well.

Professor Perkovic said: “We are pleased to note our key recommendations have been taken on-board by the Government.”