NSW commissions inquiry into healthcare funding

3 minute read

The never-ending conga line of inquiries continues its merry dance.

The NSW Government has opened a Special Commission of Inquiry into Healthcare Funding with submissions now open until Tuesday 31 October.

The Special Commission of Inquiry was established by Letters Patent on 24 August and has been tasked with conducting a “holistic review of the funding of health services in NSW, and identifying opportunities to deliver higher quality, more timely and more accessible patient-centred care”, according to the government announcement.

According to the inquiry’s website areas to be examined include “the existing governance and accountability structure of NSW Health, the way NSW health funds health services delivered in public hospitals and community settings and strategies available to address escalating costs, limit wastage and identify areas of improvement in financial management”.

The terms of reference specify other areas of inquiry as:

  • the balance between central oversight and locally devolved decision making (including the current operating model of Local Health Districts);
  • the engagement and involvement of local communities in health service development and delivery;
  • how governance structures can support efficient implementation of state-wide reform programs and a balance of system and local level needs and priorities;
  • the impact of privatisation and outsourcing on the delivery of health services and health outcomes to the people of NSW;
  • how governance structures can support a sustainable workforce and delivery of high quality, timely, equitable and accessible patient-centered care to improve the health of the NSW population.

Procurement will also be in the spotlight, along with the current “capacity and capability” of the NSW Health workforce.

Commissioner Richard Beasley SC said contributions from both the health sector and broader public will play a key role in ensuring the inquiry delivers better outcomes for communities.

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“We have officially opened for submissions and are calling on representative bodies, service providers and people with a professional or lived experience of the health system to help guide our work,” he said.

“There is a wealth of existing knowledge and expertise across the health sector and in our communities that we want to tap into.

“Every submission that we receive over the next six weeks will make a meaningful contribution to helping the government make effective, evidence-based decisions and delivering the best possible health outcomes for our state.”

Other commissioners on the inquiry team are Michael Fordham SC, Counsel Assisting; Ross Glover, Counsel Assisting; Ian Fraser, Counsel Assisting; Tasmin Waterhouse, Counsel Assisting; and Patrick Mullane, Special Counsel.

The inquiry will deliver its final report to the NSW Governor on or before 24 August 2024. No hearing dates are available yet.

Submissions can be provided directly through the Special Commission website or by emailing submissions.hfi@specialcommission.nsw.gov.au.

Do you have a story tip for us, or a topic you would like to see us cover? Contact the editor at editor@healthservicesdaily.com.au.

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