CIS questions Super Clinic policy

The Government’s proposed coordinated care centres will not benefit older Australians with chronic illnesses according to a conservative think-tank.

A report from conservative think-tank, the Centre for Independent Studies has criticised the Rudd Government’s Super Clinics proposal, saying the centres will not benefit older Australians with chronic illnesses.

The report said evidence from Britain and Australia shows that coordinated care programs have little effect on hospital admissions, even though the clinics are intended to relieve pressure on the acute sector.

Report author Jeremy Sammut said the clinics would probably increase hospital admission because they would uncover more cases requiring tertiary treatment.

“Super Clinics will therefore be likely to increase the pressure on struggling public hospitals, and accentuate, not alleviate, the challenges facing the health system as the population ages,” said Mr Sammut.

“The evidence that the government’s promises about this policy are unrealistic has been ignored and misrepresented.”

The report outlines concerns that the Clinics will be used to provide Government-subsidised allied health services to affluent baby boomers without ensuring better care for old and chronically sick people.

“The richest pickings for the allied health sector lie in providing services to elderly Australians, who will want to access a wider range of health services (especially if they are ‘free’ under Medicare) to improve the quality of their lifestyle,” said Mr Sammut.

“In an ageing Australia, the creaky joints, rather than the squeaky wheels, will get the grease.”

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