response to the productivity commission human services: identifying sectors for reform issues paper

Released on 01/07/2016

This submission responds to the first Issues Paper, “Human services: Identifying sectors for reform”, released by the Productivity Commission Human Services Inquiry (inquiry into the increased application of competition, contestability and informed user choice to human services). cohealth’s key messages included: questioning the presumption that increased competition and contestability are preferred – or even demonstrably effective – strategies to improve the human services sectors; calling for the separation of the principle of increased user choice from the concepts of increased competition and contestability; strongly supporting the principle of increased user choice; endorsing the importance of equity; highlighting the costs of contestability and competition; highlighting the role of active, meaningful consumer engagement in effective reform; and raising concerns about the risks of vulnerable consumers being exploited and abused in competitive markets.
cohealth makes 9 recommendations, focusing on ensuring: equitable access to human services; meaningful engagement of consumers in reform processes; adequate consumer protections; genuine choice and control for all service users.

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