Day hospitals — what the future holds
Day Hospitals Australia is acknowledged as the peak industry body representing the day hospital sector nationally in the provision of advocacy, representation and support to ensure relevancy and sustainability within the marketplace.
Our sector is facing many challenges driven by legislative changes, regulatory requirements, private health insurance funding, banding reviews and many other layers of complexity at a state-based level. It is hoped that through ongoing support, promoting best practice and developing and maintaining our critical partnerships, our voice will continue to be heard and our opinions will continue to have an impact. It is an uphill battle and one that we will continue to fight on behalf of our members.
Not only is the sector working in a challenging contracting environment, but we continue to battle with the limitations of the second tier default benefit safety net. Both issues are critical and interwoven and have been identified as requiring urgent attention as part of the Private Health Ministerial Advisory Committee (PHMAC), of which I am a member. PHMAC was established to examine all aspects of private health insurance and provide government with advice on reforms that would improve the value of private health insurance for the consumer. Through the PHMAC, Day Hospitals Australia is able to present and engage in robust discussion with leaders from multiple key bodies including the Australian Medical Association, the Australian Private Hospitals Association, Catholic Health Australia and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, to name a few.
Critical to the sustainability and growth of the sector is consumer education and engagement, but for this to occur communication also needs to target the local GP. Many procedures that are currently conducted within a larger public or private hospital setting could certainly be managed within a day hospital facility. The kickback to the patient is that a day hospital setting would potentially be more cost-effective and would afford them the opportunity to return home sooner. The obvious impact on the larger hospital settings is that this would free up theatre space and bed availability for more critical patient care. For the current mindset to change a lot of work is required, but with the key focus of patient care being the driver, we are hopeful that we can help support and direct behaviour to further educate providers and users on the benefit of day hospital services.
Day Hospitals Australia now represents over two thirds of all day hospitals (and some small overnight facilities) nationally. It is only with the tireless support of our members that we can confidently and accurately share the views of the sector at every opportunity provided to us, ensuring that the opinions of our members are heard.
Day Hospitals Australia will continue to empower health professionals with support, resources and a truly representative voice as we promote and work towards raising awareness about the advantages of the day sector for consumers and the overburdened health system.
Day Hospitals Australia membership is open to day hospital facilities, small overnight hospitals, individuals from within the day sector and industry members. Enquiries can be directed to 1800 752 822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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