Abbott calls for independent boards to govern Australian hospitals

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Australian Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott today called for the establishment of independent boards to govern hospitals. The changes will be part of the next five-year Commonwealth-state health agreement Federal funding would be withdrawn from hospitals that did not agree to the boards.

Abbott says the purpose of the independent boards is to reduce bureaucracy and make public hospitals more efficient and responsive. "The board and [the] CEO will have control over budgets and make decisions about what happens in hospitals," he said.

Federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd said that the plan would create more, not less bureaucracy. "Not only are we going to have thousands of federal bureaucrats, thousands of state health bureaucrats, but now a new layer of bureaucracy as well," he said.