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Inefficient public health system costing more

15 November 2011 - 2:52pm

Up to $4 billion a year is wasted by the public health system due to lack of productivity, a new
report has stated.

According to News Limited, a study by the Australian Centre for Health Research claims that productivity in the healthcare sector is 40 per cent below the average in other sectors.

Co-authored by representatives of the Institute of Public Affairs, the report recommends reducing regulations and eliminating workforce rules, particularly when it comes to the sharing of doctors' workloads with nursing staff.

The report suggests that there is an increasing proportion of staff in public hospitals employed in clerical jobs - rather than medical services - and this has impacted heavily on productivity.

The proportion of staff in public hospitals employed in clerical jobs has risen by 1.2 per cent in the past 13 years.

One solution proposed by the report is to allow public hospitals to purchase services from more efficient facilities currently servicing those with private health insurance.

Catholic Health Australia chief Martin Laverty told The Australian that private hospitals deliver hospital care on average $130 per person cheaper than public. 

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