The DLP believes Australia is desperate for a new funding system for hospitals. The current system allocates funding in a politicised manner geared to attract votes rather than directly address the real issues. The DLP proposes the establishment of an independent funding body, to allocate funding on a needs basis. This will localise decision making by empowering hospital boards and ensuring that hospital funding is not politicised. Funding should be provided six months prior to the start of each financial year.
The DLP proposes:
Funding for hospitals to accommodate the clinical training of medical postgraduates, including hospitals in regional Australia.
Adequate realistic levels of nursing staff to allow for the provision of patient care based on patient needs.
Increasing the number of internships to accommodate all Australian-trained medical graduates, and increasing the number of graduate placements for nurses.
The DLP believes that:
- Every Australian is entitled to access, equity and justice in the provision and allocation of health services.
- The federally funded Medicare scheme should remain the main provider of general practice services
- Health policies must integrate hospitals with primary care and community-based services
- Faith-based hospitals and health services are entitled to religious liberty in employment and the provision of their services
- Health care workers are entitled to freedom of conscience, and their right to conscientious objection must be protected
- Patients have the right to be fully informed of their diagnosis, possible treatment, benefits, risks and side effects of treatment, and costs
- Patients have the right to refuse treatment and undertake an advanced medical directive or nominate a health care proxy