The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCI) has today welcomed the release of the Sustainable Health Review Interim Report to drive greater efficiencies across Western Australia’s health sector.

CCI Chief Executive Officer Chris Rodwell said CCI has long called for growth in the State Government’s health budget to be restrained as a high priority.

“This report is further confirmation that WA has a spending problem, not a revenue problem and this spending must be reined in if we want to reduce net debt and regain our triple-A credit rating,” Mr Rodwell said.

“CCI has commended the Government’s $142 million tightening in spending in the Mid-Year Economic Review as a positive step to bring WA’s health costs in line with the rest of the country, but it is clear that more needs to be done.

“Public sector wages are the single biggest area of government expenditure (45%), so it is vital that the Government is able to better control wage growth to repair the state’s finances.”

CCI is very pleased that of the six priorities identified in our inquiry submission, five have been recommended for implementation to develop a more sustainable, patient centred health system, including:

  • Restrain growth in the health budget as a high priority;

  • Set the goal of delivering WA public health services at the national cost benchmark, known as the Projected Average Cost (PAC);

  • Consult with the Commonwealth government to redirect funding towards Transitional Care Places to reduce strain on hospital bed occupancy;

  • Allow better sharing of digital hospital records with GPs and encouraging West Australians to sign up to ‘My Health Record’; and

  • Promote a greater use of Telehealth and other technologies.

“CCI will continue to advocate for our final recommendation – private patients in public hospitals – to be addressed in the final report to ensure the State’s public health system is productive as possible,” Mr Rodwell said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the State Government and the review panel to enhance efficiencies across the state’s health sector.”