A teleconference with state leaders to discuss the federal government's hospital funding reforms will be led by NSW Premier Kristina Keneally, who is also the chair of the Council for Australian Federation. The next scheduled meeting with territory chief ministers and other premiers will start next Thursday.
Ms Keneally informed the NSW parliament that the work will show highest corporation and constructive efforts to meet and respond to the prime minister's reform agenda.
As the governments are in caretaker mode ahead of state elections, South Australia and Tasmania will be represented by senior officials.
Under the recent changes pronounced by Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd just last week, over 60 per cent of funding for state-run public hospitals will be taken over by Canberra, passing on some of the GST revenue that presently is directed to the states.
The response from the state is needed before the meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), on April 11. On Thursday, Ms Keneally announced the release of a discussion paper related to the reforms, which will be distributed to health experts and professionals attending the state government seminar.
The half-day seminar will be held on Monday at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, co-chaired by the former federal Nationals leader Ian Sinclair. Comments regarding the reforms on issues such as funding, governance and the influences on regional hospitals by up to 60 health experts and professionals are welcomed.
This discussion paper provides the facts. It provides the figures and the important local and regional issues that will underpin our consultation with communities and our response at COAG, says Ms Keneally. This seminar offers the best method to gather up-to-date response from the people involved in the health system and who interact with it too, says Keneally.
She adds that an online forum will be up and running next week, so the public will be able to share their feedbacks on the changes and the NSW discussion paper.