Ware responds to public backlash sparked by service loss
I write in reply to a Letter to the Editor by Kev Hopkins (MB 11/2/13) regarding Home and Community Care Services in Central Queensland.
The Central Queensland Hospital and Health Board has made some tough decisions following from the National Health Reform which was implemented in July 2012.
The decisions made by the CQHH Board are not based on politics.
It was the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) that agreed to major reforms to the organisational funding and delivery of health care.
Those reforms aimed to provide better access to services, improved local accountability and transparency, greater responsiveness to local communities and a stronger financial basis for the health system into the future.
Key planks of the Federal Government's reform package in July 1, 2012, included an end to duplication and fragmentation of services and working with other health service providers to ensure these services are delivered by those most suited.
The State and the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service (CQHHS) are, without doubt, most suited to the provision of acute care and inpatient services to the community. Hospitals and hospital services are the core business of CQHHS.
CQHHS is one of a number of providers of Home and Community Care (HACC) in this region on behalf of the Commonwealth and State Governments. There are many non-government and private organisations also providing this service. Reducing the fragmentation of HACC services will increase efficiencies and economies of scale.
The Commonwealth and the State Governments, which jointly fund this service, have been advised CQHHS will relinquish HACC-funded services in Banana, Gladstone Rockhampton and Yeppoon from March 31, 2013.
Three months notice was provided as stipulated in accordance with the HACC contract and requirements.
The community and care recipients can expect to be notified when the Commonwealth and State contract a new provider or providers.
CQHHS does not and cannot provide all health services to the community.
This is an industry where a range of public, private, non-government and general practice providers must work together to meet the needs of the growing and aging population.
CQHHS has identified its core business as the delivery of hospital services and that will remain the focus as we continue a path of structural review to ensure this organisation is in the best possible position to meet those growing needs.
Likewise, other service providers have expressed eagerness to expand their service delivery in many areas that are not CQHHS core business.
These partners want to develop appropriate economies of scale allowing the delivery of quality and sustainable services.
I assure Mr Hopkins that these decisions are not made lightly.
They are guided by National Health Reform but made by a board comprising community members who believe their decision is the right and appropriate one for health service delivery in Central Queensland.
CQHHS believes there is no appropriate alternate services provider in Springsure and Woorabinda and will continue to care for HACC recipients in those areas.
Chairman, Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service Board