Tackling inefficiencies in the Australian healthcare system is critical says panel hosted by The George Institute

The George Institute Australia Executive Director Professor Vlado Perkovic and Chief Scientist Professor Anushka Patel welcomed the Federal Health Minister The Hon. Sussan Ley at a health policy panel event on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of our health system.

Australian Federal Health Minister The Hon. Sussan Ley says “There are three essential ingredients or elements in any effective, high quality modern health system – firstly, an efficient system structure with secure funding; secondly, clinical practice that is both accessible and evidence-based; and thirdly, well targeted research to underpin constant improvement.”

The Health Minister gave the key note address, using the opportunity to announce a new policy to work with health professionals to identify inefficiencies and systemic waste in the sector in order to provide better health outcomes for patients.

The Minister also commented, “The George Institute for Global Health is unique among medical research institutes in that it supports research in every part of the health system – not just raw basic research but research into clinical practice and health systems… They range from reducing death rates from infection in intensive care units to re-examining the use of paracetamol for back pain.”

Professor Perkovic noted, “The health system needs to be a partnership between patients, clinicians and researchers. We need to realign the way we deliver models of care so that it is all about the needs of the patients based on the evidence of what works and what doesn’t work. We must start thinking about a system that learns as it goes.”

Following the key note, a panel discussion was chaired by ABC’s Sophie Scott covering various issues around improving the effectiveness and efficiency of our health system; from the potential for broad system-wide reforms to gaps in the current model and how to better integrate the various parts of the system.
Panel members included Chief Scientist of The George Institute for Global Health Anushka Patel, Secretary of the Department of Health Martin Bowles, Chief Medical Officer of Bupa Dr Paul Bates, President of the Royal Australian Collage of General Practitioners Dr Frank R Jones and Chief Executive of Sydney Local Health District Dr Teresa Anderson.

Professor Anushka Patel said “it is absolutely crucial that the process of health system re-design is accompanied by robust evaluation, focusing on both intended and unintended consequences of much needed innovation.”