What is the future of the hospital system?

Paul A. Komesaroff, Gordon J.A. Clunie, Stephen J. Duckett

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This question is no doubt pondered daily by many who work in public hospitals around Australia. Shrinking funds, closures of beds and other hospital services and unrelenting pressure on staff to limit services and reduce costs have led to declining morale and uncertainty about the future. While government health policies become more erratic patients are becoming increasingly frustrated by diminishing services and rising costs. Private hospitals have not escaped the turmoil as they remain closely dependent on the public hospital system for support of complex patients and because their viability is also subject to current policies of government. In this symposium, three views are presented about the future of the hospital system. The first argues that radical changes that will challenge conventional concepts of the hospital are imminent; the second makes a plea for the preservation of the existing system, albeit reformed in important respects; and the third argues that hospitals are already immersed in a long-term process of transformation that will ultimately produce profound changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Komesaroff, P. A., Clunie, G. J. A., & Duckett, S. J. (1997). What is the future of the hospital system? The Medical Journal of Australia, 166(1), 17-22.