• Rudd announces radical health reform
  • Federal Government to be major contributor
  • Reform to "end blame game"

KEVIN Rudd has released his landmark plan to seize control of the ailing hospital system, saying it will end the blame game with the states.

Under the plan, the Commonwealth will strip back $50 billion of GST revenues from the states and territories, becoming the majority funder of all public hospitals and taking full control of GPs and frontline health services in Australia.

For the first time the Government would directly pay hospitals to deliver treatment to patients.

It would also fund up to 100 per cent of the cost of primary healthcare outpatient services provided to public hospital patients.

To deliver the changes, the Rudd Government wants to establish local hospital networks - small groups of hospitals that will work together to deliver services and achieve economies through bulk purchasing.

The Prime Minister said his plan would be put to the states and territories at the next COAG meeting on April 11.

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