As the previous Croakey posts report, the NT Government is under fire for its policy of refusing dialysis treatment in Alice Springs to Central Australians who live outside the Territory’s borders.
But the spotlight should be put on the Federal Government, argues Professor Wendy Hoy, of the Centre for Chronic Disease, School of Medicine, University of Queensland.
“This problem of provision of dialysis services across state/territory booundaries would be solved if the Federal Government assumed responsibility for all such services across Australia.
If the federal government also takes charge of primary care services, at least where current options are not satisfactory, the links between death rates and need for dialysis with efforts in prevention, timely screening and quality treatment of chronic diseases in their asymptomatic and their less advanced stages would become clear.
This would allow informed health services planning to minimise sickness, dialysis, premature death and costs.
The Federal government could contract back with local providers for those services, where current systems are effective, transparent and accountable, but everything would come under one umbrella and one system of ongoing evaluation of processes, outcomes and costs. Inclusion of hospital services under such an umbrella is an obvious option.”