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2 Comments

  1. 1

    David More

    Some may wish to browse a blog on the e-Health aspects of MLs.

    If so go here:

    http://aushealthit.blogspot.com/2011/03/medicare-locals-i-really-wish-someone.html

    Cheers

    David.

    Reply
  2. 2

    Vern Hughes

    Medicare Locals will not break the stalemate surrounding health reform. They will, however, provide a focus for enterprising initiatives from consumers that lead in the direction of genuine consumer-centred health care.

    For example: consumers who want integrated care and self-direction will be able to say to a Medicare Local: “I want a package of money from several of your funded programs that is made available to me for integration of my supports and care, in the form of a personal budget as is now accepted in disability.”

    Medicare Locals that are innovative will have the capacity to do this, and can learn from any number of disability agencies, and increasingly aged care agencies, who now do it. Mamre Association in Brisbane is one of the best, and has been using funded programs to offer family-managed self-directed services in disability for 20 years. Families use the money to purchase the care they want, and employ the care workers they need, directly.

    The systems for self-management of packages are now available, along with easy to use self-management tools.

    The stalemate in health reform will be broken only when innovative organisations, and enterprising consumers, start exercising some intregrated person-centred controls over arrangements that are actually within their power to control. Without this kind of innovation, the rhetoric about integrated care will go on for decades without anything changing on the ground for the consumer.

    This is a major paradigm shift in health, away from the statist approach of looking to government to deliver what everyone wants, and towards an empowerment and enterprise approach that follows the self-direction and individualised funding approach in disability. Chronic illness, aged care and mental illness can easily follow this direction, but the consumer leadership has not been here in these areas as it has in disability. Hence the delay in general health.

    This approach will be explored at a workshop on consumer-centred health care on March 21/22 http://www.partnerships.org.au/

    Vern Hughes
    vern@partnerships.org.au

    Reply

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