Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Deputy Premier; Minister for Health; Mental Health

    Fair share for WA healthcare now more critical than ever

    16/04/2018 9:15 AM
    • Western Australia is missing out on nearly $1 billion per year in healthcare funding from the Federal Government
    • WA receives $277 less per person in health care funding than the national average
    • WA continues to pay hundreds of millions of dollars each year to fill the gaps left by the Commonwealth  

    The health funding provided by the Commonwealth to Western Australia is woefully inadequate while the cost of delivering healthcare continues to soar, leaving the State Government to foot the bill.


    Health Minister Roger Cook met with Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, last week, to continue discussions on how the Commonwealth can play their part in a solution to ensure WA receives its fair share of healthcare funding. 


    Western Australia is currently missing out on nearly $1 billion per year in healthcare funding from the Federal Government.


    On a per capita basis, the Federal Government provides $277 less per person than the national average to WA.


    While the Federal Government's contribution to WA's health budget remains lower than the national average, costs in the Western Australian health system have more than doubled in the past 10 years.


    The national funding model for hospitals disadvantages WA as it fails to recognise the unique challenges faced by the State in delivering health services, such as the isolation of many Western Australian communities.


    Western Australia is vast and geographically isolated meaning that the cost of delivering essential health care services to regional and remote locations are significantly higher, and these unique needs are not captured by national funding models, leaving the State to pick up the shortfall.


    Each year, WA has to fill the gaps in health spending by the Commonwealth at a cost of millions of dollars each year, with shortfalls across a range of essential health services such as:

    • $40 million due to anomalies in the funding model to deliver services to regional and remote locations; and a
    • $200 million shortfall for aged care which leads to an additional cost of $53 million, borne by the State, on hospital services for older Western Australians awaiting aged care services. 

    Western Australia also has too few General Practitioners (GPs), with the Commonwealth only funding 82 full service equivalent (FSE) per 100,000 of population, while the national average is 97 FSE per 100,000 of population.


    This shortage in GPs places extra strain on Western Australia's emergency departments with about one third of all emergency presentations potentially treatable by a General Practitioner.


    Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:


    "For too long, Western Australia has not received its fair share of healthcare funding from the Commonwealth. 


    "When the Commonwealth fails to deliver, the State is forced to pick up the shortfall and plug all those necessary gaps.


    "We call upon the Federal Government to work with us to develop a funding model that is fair, and accurately reflects the true cost of delivering critical health services to Western Australians living in regional and remote locations.


    "This State is a key contributor to the nation's economic prosperity and the people of Western Australia access the same basic services, the vast majority of Australians take for granted.


    "The McGowan Government wants to see Western Australia and the Commonwealth move forward together to drive innovation, integration and culture change.


    "We want to build a more efficient, fair and sustainable health system in this State. We want the Federal Government to lift their game and play their part."


    Minister's office - 6552 6500