The National Healthcare Agreement affirms the agreement of all governments that Australia's health system should:
- be shaped around the health needs of individual patients, their families and communities;
- focus on the prevention of disease and injury and the maintenance of health, not simply the treatment of illness;
- support an integrated approach to the promotion of healthy lifestyles, prevention of illness and injury, and diagnosis and treatment of illness across the continuum of care; and
- provide all Australians with timely access to quality health services based on their needs, not ability to pay, regardless of where they live in the country.
The objective of the Agreement is: 'Through this Agreement, the Parties commit to improve health outcomes for all Australians and ensure the sustainability of the Australian health system' (clause 12).
The outcomes of the Agreement are:
- Australians are born and remain healthy;
- Australians receive appropriate high quality and affordable primary and community health services;
- Australians receive appropriate high quality and affordable hospital and hospital related care;
- Older Australians receive appropriate high quality and affordable health and aged care services;
- Australians have positive health and aged care experiences which take account of individual circumstances and care needs;
- Australians have a health system that promotes social inclusion and reduces disadvantage, especially for Indigenous Australians; and
- Australians have a sustainable health system.