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Findings and Determining New Policy
The assessment found that despite significant improvements and reform to the health system and delivery in Australia, there is an increasing need for structural change. The health care model requires optimizations to increase the quality of treatment and reduce waste. Some particular issues include population disparity and lack of access to hospitals in rural areas as well as such aspects as the inequitable distribution of medical resources and overuse of antibiotics (“Improving Australia’s Health System” 4). Determining a new policy should address a major shortcoming of the current policy which fails to connect health targets with pertinent outcomes. The most critical and socially demanded issues should be a priority, with a focus on efficiency and optimization with a widespread delivery of care. It is vital to involve all relevant stakeholders in the process, including government agencies, clinicians, and patient-guided feedback.
The Process to Implement Change
The process would begin with establishing a positive policy-making environment. This encourages stability, partisanship amongst political parties, and promoting policy discussion that is aimed at long-term initiatives. The second step would be to review the existing health policy. This is important to provide an analysis of the current state of the health system. It may be found that certain policies or guidelines are outdated, inefficient, or are inapplicable to the modern social and economic realities. In terms of optimization, this may reveal sub-sector components that are poorly integrated into the overall consistent framework of health delivery, causing a waste of resources (“Understanding Health Policy Processes” 125-128).
The next logical step would be to match policies to field realities. In addition to identifying critical issues, this would indicate formulating performance indicators to offer a measure that any policy change would be meant to address. An in-depth cost-benefit analysis is pertinent to compare the size of the problem to resource allocation, both current and available, as well as determining the extent of the intervention (“Understanding Health Policy Processes” 130). The crisis of inadequate availability of healthcare facilities and resources should be examined from a perspective of resource allocation patterns. One major weakness of health systems is often the proliferation of priorities. The distribution of resources should adhere to prioritization aspects determined by policy but should be efficient enough to create meaningful change. If policy directs resources into a project that is not feasible or does not have the evident justification of a valid outcome, then it would be leading the sector in the wrong direction.
Policy Tools and Government Management
A variety of instruments exist for health policy management, including conventions, regulations, recommendations, and standards. Conventions can include policy agreements amongst various commonwealths and organizations. Furthermore, international organizations such as WHO and the UN can be involved in the process. Regulations provide legal status to most critical requirements in the sectors such as quality indicators and access to healthcare. Recommendations are introduced by governments and health agencies to provide a strategic framework and plan based on which the policy will progress forward. Standards establish codes that should be followed as a potential for enhancement of quality in healthcare (“Public Health Policy and Legislation” 11). Overall, a combination of these instruments provides possibilities for health policy and sector management and improvement. Tools should be constantly evaluated and enhanced based on the availability of evidence and data which highlight the effectiveness of these methodologies. Therefore, the policy and supporting tools should encompass performance monitoring and accountability when being developed.
“Improving Australia’s Health System: What We Can Do Now.” PC News, 2015, Web.
“Public Health Policy and Legislation Instruments and Tools: An Updated Review and Proposal for Further Research.” World Health Organization, 2012, Web.
“Understanding Health Policy Processes.” World Health Organization, Web.