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Reporting on #HealthMatters: help us to cover Labor’s national health summit

We’re asking for your financial help to support independent, informed and in-depth coverage of critical health debates.

Labor framed the 2016 federal election as a “a referendum on Medicare” and health was a defining issue throughout the campaign.

As well as mounting a full frontal defence of Medicare, Labor developed some strong policies, from promising to retain the bulk billing incentive for pathology and diagnostic imaging through to a series of public health initiatives.

But there were plenty of gaps and concerns, including lack of focus on the impact of climate change on health and the role of structural inequality and social and economic disadvantage in driving health inequalities and chronic diseases.

Next week Labor is hosting a National Health Policy Summit which it promises will be “a unique opportunity for consumers, providers, stakeholders and experts to help set the frame for Labor’s health policies going into the next election”.

It’s a critical opportunity to watch policy-making in action – to hear from many voices and to see who Labor is listening to and what it takes on as priorities.

As interesting as what the party chooses to include will be what it leaves off the agenda in the months and years to come.

Please support our Pozible campaign

CroakeyHealthMatterslogo

We’d love to provide independent, informed coverage of the discussions for Croakey readers through the Croakey Conference News Service.

If you would like to see broader public debate about health that extends beyond partisanship – then please help! We will centre health equity concerns in our coverage.

As you may know, Croakey runs on a limited budget and we cannot afford to provide such coverage without your support.

What your dollars would produce:

  • Live tweeting on the day
  • Live interviews – via Periscope
  • In-depth wrap and follow-up
  • Opportunities for individuals and organisations to contribute to the coverage and discussions – tweet us your questions and commentary.

We need:

  • $2,200 to cover the costs (flights and accommodation) and time for Melbourne-based Croakey journalist Marie McInerney to attend, live tweet, conduct Periscope video interviews and write a big wrap of the discussions, and for prep, editing and cover from editor Melissa Sweet.
  • Your insights on what you want on Labor’s agenda and in our cover.

Please check out our Pozible pitch here to support and for more details, including some prizes ranging from our #HealthMatters honour roll through to great books donated by Penguin, a collector’s copy of #JustJustice and your chance to publish your own Croakey e-book!

We’ll need to have raised the funds by next Tuesday 28 February at 9pm to be able to book flights and schedule reporting.

What’s planned for the Summit

Labor says the Summit will bring together more than 130 of Australia’s leading thinkers on health to be part of roundtable discussions via a packed program, with two blocks of four concurrent sessions, led by Shadow Ministers and leading health figures.

The event will begin with a welcome from Shadow Health Minister Catherine King and a keynote from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and will end with a panel discussion between chairs to report back on the following policy roundtables (see also the co-chairs, some who are still to be announced).

1.Opportunities and challenges in our health sectors

Protection, prevention and promotion

Public Health Association of Australia CEO Michael Moore
Stephen Jones, Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government Stephen Jones.

  • the preventable chronic disease crisis
  • risk factors
  • protective factors

Primary, secondary and community care

 Sharon Claydon, Chair, Medicare Caucus Committee

  • general practice
  • specialist primary health
  • allied health
  • pathology & imaging
  • pharmacy & medicines
  • dental

 Hospitals

Brian Owler, former President, Australian Medical Association

  • post-2020 public hospital funding
  • reducing emergency department and elective surgery waiting times
  • interaction between public and private hospitals
  • private health insurance
  • improving quality, safety and value in hospitals
  • outpatient clinics

Mental health and suicide prevention

Frank Quinlan, Mental Health Australia and Sue Murray, Suicide Prevention Australia
Julie Collins, Shadow Minister for Ageing and Mental Health

Mental health priorities

  • Mental health reform
  • Measuring outcomes
  • Stigma and awareness
  • Workforce

Suicide reduction priorities

  • Early intervention and prevention
  • Integrated services
  • Research and data collection

2.Where to for health reform?

Ensuring universal access for all Australians

Dr Stephen Duckett, Grattan Institute
Jenny Macklin, Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services

  • access, including out-of-pocket costs and waiting times
  • integration of primary care
  • coordination of primary, secondary and acute care
  • health financing

Designing our health workforce for the future

Professor Mary Chiarella, Sydney University
Tony Zappia, Shadow Assistant Minister for Medicare

  • future health service needs
  • health workforce reform
  • Commonwealth health workforce programs

Tackling health inequality and other whole-of-government challenges

 Professor Sharon Friel, Australian National University
Mark Butler, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy

  • Regional, rural and remote health
  • Indigenous health
  • Other health inequalities
  • Interface with aged care
  • Interface with NDIS
  • Other social policy issues
  • Climate change and health

Innovation across our health system

Professor Christine Bennett AO, School of Medicine, Sydney, The University of Notre Dame Australia and past Chair of Research Australia
Murray Watt, Senate Community Affairs Committee

  • Health, medical and translational research
  • eHealth and digital technologies
  • Safety and quality
  • Precision medicine
  • New technologies
  • Partnerships and collaboration.

We’d love to be in the room on the day and to report back to you on discussions and directions.

Please support us if you can.


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