AMA Queensland’s Health Vision is the policy framework that will guide our advocacy between 2015-2020. We wanted to take the opportunity to develop a positive vision for the Queensland health sector that transcends partisan politics and electoral cycles. After well attended consultations in Brisbane and Townsville in 2013, the AMA Queensland committees worked through the feedback to identify tangible and measurable ways to improve the state of healthcare in Queensland. We have engaged widely with our membership base and experts to develop this, your, AMA Queensland Health Vision.
Part one - Public health and generational disadvantage
Queensland is struggling with numerous public health crises. Obesity, smoking, alcohol and mental health are taking a toll on Queenslanders and placing an immense burden on our public health system. Generational disadvantage is the consistent contributing factor to these health issues and more. Our members already know this; they deal with it every day. That’s why their feedback was so important to finding the real solutions detailed in this section of the Health Vision.
Part two - Workforce and training
With workforce shortages already placing pressure on our health system’s capacity to provide essential services, action is needed now to ensure there is an engaged, well-trained and appropriately planned medical workforce. Part Two of the Health Vision will offer government ways to address medical workforce and training issues while ensuring our junior doctors, general practitioners and clinicians are happier and more effective while doing their jobs.
Part three - Reprioritising health funding
All too often, we hear the Australian health system is in crisis. Government and policy makers claim immediate steps are required to ensure the sustainability of the health system.
This chapter of the AMA Queensland Health Vision will consider how to reprioritise care in response to changing demand. Rather than suggesting quick fix policy solutions to complex problems, we have consulted with our members and drawn on international research to propose a number of targets that will help eliminate waste and inefficiency within our health care system.
Part four - Unifying the health system
Varying health systems across each of Australia’s states and territories, combined with an unclear distribution of responsibilities between different levels of government, has led to a fragmented health system characterised by duplication, cost shifting, and blame shifting. Unifying the health system would help to alleviate this problem, but this is easier said than done. There is a complex division of responsibility for health care services in Australia, with many types of providers and a range of funding and regulatory mechanisms. With the help of our members, AMA Queensland will propose a series of targets that could help end the blame game and make the patient’s journey through the health system less complex and practically seamless.
Part five - End of life care
Our society is ageing and this means more Queensland families face heartbreaking choices about how their loved ones spend their dying days. People want to honour the wishes of the dying person, but the low numbers of people who have a formal ‘advance care plan’ mean doctors often face frustration and confusion about the level of care to provide. AMA Queensland wants to see Queensland become a world leader in care at the end of life. In this chapter of the Health Vision, we will examine what Queensland needs to do to make this happen.