Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison are all set to offer a new set of health funding rules to the state and territory leaders in a meeting on Friday.
The decision came following Turnbull and Morrison’s two-hour strategy discussion on Monday at the prime minister’s harbourside mansion. The discussion reportedly also focused on the differences in opinion at the top of the federal government. According to reports, the health funding initiative would ditch former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s cuts to hospital funding. Although the sources have not yet confirmed the finalisation of any policies, the states seem to be sure enough to get a four-year hospital funding agreement to 2020 as proposed originally by the Gillard Labor government. If this happens, it could hit Morrison’s first budget severely by $5 billion.
“I can’t confirm the figures that have been in the press, but we will be presenting to the premier’s and the chief ministers a proposal … which will see us maintaining the commitment to activity-based funding and a national efficient price which will ensure that everything we are doing at the Federal level is calculated to ensure that Australians get the best care in hospitals and that hospitals are delivering that care to Australian patients as efficiently and effectively as we can,” PM Turnbull said as quoted by news.com.au.
Morrison told 2GB that he has been working with the prime minister on the health funding initiative for many months and the details will be publicised on Friday. He confirmed that the deal will be put forth to the treasurers and the premiers of the states and territories on the same day.
According to The Australian, the four-year agreement will possibly be knotted to a revolutionary tax reform, which will lead to offering a share of income tax to the states after 2020 to ensure health funding as well as education financing.