Professor to lead hospital forum

PUBLIC hospitals in New South Wales were in a ‘period of crisis’ in their acute care services, according to the government-commissioned Garling report.

This crisis will be examined when a healthcare expert visits Lismore next week to lead a discussion on the subject of why health reform is so hard.

The Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health is inviting people to join a discussion with Philip Davies on January 27.

Professor Davies has more than 30 years’ international experience of health care policy and management.

He joined the University of Queensland’s School of Population Health in April last year.

Before that he was deputy secretary in the Federal Health Department. Prof Davis came to Australia in 2002 after working as a senior health economist with the World Health Organisation in Geneva.

Prior to that he was a deputy director-general in New Zealand’s Ministry of Health.

He will be exploring some of the key proposals that have emerged as part of the Federal Government’s current reform efforts.

In July last year, the National Hospitals and Health Reform Commission put forward 123 recommendations on how to improve our health system amid promises to ‘fix’ public hospitals.

The final report of the commission, released in July, recommended the Commonwealth fund and run all primary healthcare, basic dental care, aged care and indigenous medical services.

But governments around the globe have been struggling for many years to achieve effective health reform and none has succeeded.

Health reform has emerged as a key issue for the Obama administration in the US.

And in the UK, which has invested massively in health over the past 10 years or so, the Secretary of State for Health recently told NHS managers that they should be ‘under no illusions about the scale of the challenge before us’.

To join the discussion with Prof Philips, call Dr Sue Page on 6620 7377.

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