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Annual Report - Performance Information
Outcome Performance ReportAchievements & ChallengesStrategic DirectionsPerformance InformationResources

PART 2: PERFORMANCE INFORMATION


Performance Information for Administered Items


Administered Funding - Population Health Programs, including:
  • Chronic Disease - Early Detection and Prevention;
  • Communicable Disease Control;
  • Drug Strategy;
  • Food and Regulatory Policy;
  • Immunisation; and
  • Public Health.
Target: Quality: Development and support of mechanisms to promote evidence-based policy and programs for disease prevention and health promotion.
Result: Target met.

In 2005-06, the Department supported evidence-based policy by:

  • continuing to implement the Priority Setting Mechanism for Prevention as a tool that utilises economic information for health sector decision making;
  • providing funding to 3 National Drug Research Centres for research into drug and alcohol trends, prevalence, treatment, strategy, programand workforce development;
  • providing additional funding to the National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for specific alcohol and other drug related research projects;
  • enhancing arrangements for providing advice on whether new vaccines should be funded as part of the National Immunisation Program; and
  • continuing to provide support to the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, which celebrated its 10 year anniversary on 14 September 2005.
Target: Quality: Contribution to the maintenance and development of a viable public health workforce to support the national public health effort.
Result: Target met.

The Public Health Education and Research Program (PHERP) was reviewed in 2004 05 to ensure its continued relevance to support the maintenance and development of a viable public health workforce. The Department commenced implementation of the review’s findings in 2005-06, which is expected to be completed in 2006-07.

In 2005-06, the Department commissioned Stage 1 of the Workforce and Infrastructure Capacity Research Project for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP). The outcomes of the project will inform the evaluation of the current phase of the NBCSP scheduled for 2008.

In addition, the Department developed and implemented workforce capacity building projects under the National Drug Strategy 2004-2009 and the National Comorbidity Initiative in 2005-06.

Target: Quality: Government policies to reduce the community harm caused by licit and illicit drugs are implemented in accordance with a sound evidence base and with responsiveness to new and emerging trends.
Result: Target met. In collaboration with State and Territory governments, the Department developed Australia’s first National Cannabis Strategy 2006-2009, which was endorsed by the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy in May 2006. The Strategy, which was informed by available evidence, focuses on reducing the supply and use of this illicit substance, increasing community awareness of its illicit status and the harms caused by its use, as well as recognising the need for further research into harms and treatment options and building workforce capacity.

Under the National Psychostimulants Initiative, evidence-based resources have been created by various researchers and organisations to assist the alcohol and other drug workforce to receive up-to-date training in the treatment of people with psychostimulant-related problems. In 2005-06, the Department funded the development of Ambulance and Emergency Department guidelines on treating people with psychostimulant-related problems, which will be printed and disseminated in 2006-07.

The Department also developed the new National Alcohol Strategy 2006-2009, which was informed by available evidence and builds on existing efforts by government and non-government sectors to educate the public on safer drinking choices and has a focus on reducing high levels of intoxication and binge drinking.

Raising awareness and providing educational resources on the appropriate use of alcohol through the Australian Alcohol Guidelines and the concept of a 'standard drink' continued to be a focus for the Department. The Department distributed health promotion resource materials, such as standard drink measuring glasses, coasters and posters to licensed venues, schools, community groups, government and non government organisations, and consumers.

Target: Quality: Timely recognition and development of appropriate responses to emerging threats to human health.
Result: This target was transferred to Outcome 12 in the 2005-06 Health and Ageing Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements.
Target: Quality: Incidence of communicable disease outbreaks are monitored to ensure outbreaks are actioned and contained.
Result: This target was transferred to Outcome 12 in the 2005-06 Health and Ageing Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements.
Target: Quality: Initiatives provide for enhanced surveillance of foodborne illness, and improve food safety.
Result: This target was transferred to Outcome 12 in the 2005-06 Health and Ageing Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements.
Target: Quality: Initiatives address risk factors for healthy living (including nutrition, physical activity and overweight and obesity, and injury).
Result: Target met.

In addition to the activities outlined in the Key Strategic Directions for 2005-06, further examples of initiatives implemented by the Department in 2005-06 that address risk factors for healthy living include:

  • funding the Australian Breastfeeding Association to develop and disseminate resources to support breastfeeding mothers by training breastfeeding counsellors, updating breastfeeding training manuals, and establishing a breastfeeding case history database;
  • incorporating pages promoting healthy weight into the Healthy and Active web site. The web site provides evidence-based information that promotes healthy eating and physical activity, and provides tools to assist consumers looking for information to help them achieve a healthy weight;
  • providing Lifescripts resources and training to general practitioners to encourage and motivate patients to adopt healthier lifestyles by addressing smoking, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, alcohol misuse and unhealthy weight; and
  • providing funding for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition Strategy and Action Plan 2000-2010, which provides a framework for national action to bring about an improvement in the nutritional status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Target: Quality: Government programs to prevent and detect disease are implemented in accordance with a sound evidence base and with responsiveness to new and emerging trends.
Result: Target met.

In 2005-06, the Department continued to implement the National HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategies 2005-08. The implementation of these strategies is in accordance with a sound evidence base and is regularly reviewed to ensure the approach to implementation is remaining responsive to new and emerging trends. This includes the provision of education grants to peak community based organisations and professional associations aimed at reducing the transmission of these diseases.

In 2005-06, the Department worked towards implementation of new evidence-based guidelines for the National Cervical Screening Program - Screening to Prevent Cervical Cancer: Guidelines for the Management of Asymptomatic Women with Screen Detected Abnormalities. These guidelines are based on new evidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) and its relationship to cervical cancer, which were endorsed by the National Health and Medical Research Council in June 2005.

In 2005-06, core funding was provided by the Department for the implementation of a Funding Agreement with the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases. The requirements of the Funding Agreement include specific research and surveillance tasks for the Department in relation to immunisation and support of the work of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. This work will inform the evidence base underpinning the National Immunisation Program.

Target: Quality: Social marketing initiatives improve the knowledge, attitude and behaviours in relation to diseases and health risks through targeted health promotion and disease prevention campaigns.
Result: Target met. The Department developed and implemented the Get Moving National Physical Activity Campaign, which targeted children and their parents, and the Tobacco Health Warnings Campaign, which reinforced to smokers the negative health effects of smoking. Both campaigns were guided by market research to ensure they met the communications objectives established for these initiatives.
Target: Quality: Achieve high rates of immunisation coverage for vaccines funded through the National Immunisation
Result: Target met. Childhood immunisation coverage rates for children at 12 months of age have been maintained at between 90 per cent and 92 per cent since June 2000. The success of the National Immunisation Program can largely be attributed to:
  • the links between Australian Government-funded vaccines and parent and provider eligibility for immunisation incentive payments;
  • work undertaken by the Department with the National Immunisation Committee; and
  • ongoing coordination of immunisation activities in general practice through the Department’s management of the National General Practice Immunisation Program, delivered through the Divisions of General Practice network.

The Department also produced and distributed to all general practices and State and Territory health departments a revised edition of the parent information resource Understanding Childhood Immunisation, which explains to new parents the vaccines that are recommended for children from birth to four years of age, and the diseases that the vaccines prevent.


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Performance Information for Departmental Outputs


Output Group 1. Policy Advice, including:
  • Chronic Disease - Early Detection and Prevention;
  • Communicable Disease Control;
  • Drug Strategy;
  • Food and Regulatory Policy;
  • Immunisation;
  • Public Health; and
  • 2005-06 Budget measures.
Target: Quality: Ministers' satisfaction with the quality, relevance and timeliness of our advice for Australian Government decision making.
Result: Target met.

Ministers were satisfied with the quality, relevance and timeliness of advice provided for Australian Government decision making.

Target: Quality: Production of timely evidence-based policy research.
Result: Target met.

In October 2005, the Department's Bowel Cancer Screening Pilot Final Evaluation Report found that population screening for bowel cancer using faecal occult blood tests is feasible, acceptable and cost-effective in an Australian context. This report will guide the implementation of a National Bowel Cancer Screening Program in Australia.

The new recommendations Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand including Recommended Dietary Intakes (NRVs) were released on 3 May 2006. The NRVs were funded by the Department and provide a range of recommended daily intake levels of nutrients for individuals and population groups to achieve good health and avoid deficiency states based on current evidence.

The Department commissioned a range of alcohol and other drug use research and data sets in 2005-06, including the Illicit Drug Reporting System, the Australian Secondary Students Alcohol and Drugs Survey and the National Drug Strategy Household Survey. An update of a project to estimate the social costs of drug abuse was also funded by the Department.

In 2005-06, the Department developed and implemented a new funding agreement with the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS). This agreement was established to provide additional resources for the organisation to continue to support the work of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, which is responsible for developing guidelines and providing evidence-based clinical advice on the medical administration of vaccines.


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Output Group 2. Program Management, including:
  • financial management and reporting;
  • development and management of grants and contracts; and
  • administration and revision of legislation as required.
Target: Quality: Administered budget predictions are met and actual expenses vary less than 0.5% from budgeted expenses.
Result: Target not met.

Administered budget predictions varied from actual expenses by 8%. This variance resulted from demand driven changesto spending in various Population Health programs over the reporting period.

Target: Quality: Opportunity for stakeholders to participate in program development.
Result: Target met.

During 2005-06, the Department offered a wide range of stakeholders the opportunity to participate in policy and program development. For example the Department:

  • established the Bowel Cancer Screening Implementation Advisory Group (IAG) to provide expert advice on implementation issues for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP). The IAG enabled State and Territory governments and medical professionals to participate in the development of the NBCSP;
  • held 2 national consultation forums to inform the review of the HIV Testing Policy and Stage 1 of the Chlamydia Testing Pilot Program. These forums were attended by other Australian Government agencies, community organisations, professional associations and State and Territory governments;
  • directly engaged State and Territory governments in a collaborative effort to develop the National Implementation Plan for the Australian Better Health Initiative; and
  • undertook extensive stakeholder consultation in the development of the National Alcohol Strategy 2006-2009 and the National Cannabis Strategy 2006-2009.


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Produced by the Portfolio Strategies Division, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.
URL: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/annrpt/publishing.nsf/Content/performance-information-0506-1
If you would like to know more or give us your comments contact: annrep@health.gov.au