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


Departmental Programs Specific to Rural Health

Rural health activities are implemented across several other Outcomes. The following table lists these activities by Outcome 1. The table printed in the 2005-06 Health and Ageing Portfolio Budget Statements was incorrect. Key rural health initiatives are highlighted in this chapter, to provide a comprehensive view of activities assisting people in rural and remote Australia across the portfolio.

Outcome Rural Health Activity
Outcome 1
National Illicit Drug Strategy
Outcome 2
Enhanced Rural and Remote Pharmacy Package

Rural and Remote Pharmacy Workforce Development Program

Outcome 3
Multipurpose Services Program

Capital Assistance for Rural, Remote and Regional Australia

Viability Funding

Aged Care Workforce Support

Indigenous Aged Care

Outcome 4
Higher Education Contribution Scheme Reimbursement

More Allied Health Services

New General Practitioner Registrars

Rural and Remote General Practice and Nursing

Rural Retention Program

Rural Women's General Practitioner Service

Workforce Support for Rural General Practitioners

Strengthening Medicare: More Pre-vocational Doctors to Outer Metropolitan, Regional, Rural and Remote Areas

Strengthening Medicare: Support for Rural and Remote General Practitioners

Outcome 5
Regional Health Services and Rural Primary Health Projects

Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program

Royal Flying Doctor Service Rural Private Access

Program Multipurpose Centre Program

Outcome 7
Funding for Indigenous-specific Health Services
Outcome 9
Medical Rural Bonded Scholarships

Australian Government Rural and Remote Nurse Scholarship Program

National Rural and Remote Health Support Services Program, including Rural Health Support, Education and Training Grants

Rural and Remote Nurse Scholarship Program

Rural Specialist Workforce Support Programs

University Departments of Rural Health

Rural Clinical Schools

Overseas Trained Doctors Initiatives

Bonded Medical School Places

Palliative Care in the Community

Rural Australia Medical Undergraduate and John Flynn Scholarship Scheme

Outcome 10
Better Treatment for Cancer Patients - Radiation Oncology

Additional Medical Indemnity Support for Procedural General Practitioners in Rural and Remote Areas

1. The table printed in the 2005-06 Health and Ageing Portfolio Budget Statements was incorrect.

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Performance Information for Administered Items

Administered Funding – Rural Health Program:
  • Rural Health Services.

Target: Quality: Initiatives are established to improve rural distribution of medical and other health professional student training placements.
Result: Target met. The Department worked on a variety of initiatives aimed at improving rural distribution of medical and other health professional student training placements during 2005-06 with the following results:
  • during the first half of 2005-06, a total of 1,703 students completed placements (two-weeks or more rotations of undergraduate health profession students) totalling 8,045 weeks;
  • the Department implemented grants totalling $818,808 towards a number of long term infrastructure projects including student accommodation and educational facilities; and
  • new University Departments of Rural Health (UDRH) student accommodation was officially opened in Port Pirie, South Australia; Lismore, New South Wales; and Swansea and Nubeena, Tasmania. The program expanded during this financial year to include the Monash Centre for Multi-Disciplinary Studies, increasing the national network of UDRHs to a total of 11.
Target: Quantity: 65 More Allied Health Services and 115 Regional Health Services will provide ongoing primary and/or allied health services in rural and remote areas and at least 10 time-limited preventive health initiatives will be established.
Result: Target met.

66 Divisions of General Practice delivered More Allied Health Services in 2005 06. 120 Regional Health Services provided a range of primary health care services relating to the prevention and treatment of illness in over 1,000 rural and remote communities. 7 new National Rural Primary Health Projects and 31 Building Healthy Communities projects (time-limited) targeting preventative primary care and the management of chronic disease were developed.

Target: Quality: Initiatives are implemented to improve access to specialist and privately insurable health services for rural and remote communities.
Result: Target met. Nationally, more than 1,070 services have been provided to rural and remote locations under the Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program. Under the second Rural Private Access Program funding round, a total of 68 applicants were funded for a total value of approximately $10.7 million. The third funding round was announced on 3 December 2005 and closed on 3 March 2006. Applications were under consideration by the Department as at 30 June 2006.
Target: Quantity: Implement respite funding for Multipurpose Service (MPS) sites. Operational flexible care places allocated under the Multipurpose Services Program to increase by an estimated 7%.
Result: Target met. The determination for respite funding was signed by the Minister for Ageing on 20 December 2005 with payments effective from 1 January 2006, the date for implementation of this 2005-06 Budget initiative.

As at 30 June 2006, there were 2,292 operational flexible care places allocated to MPS, representing an increase of 138 or 6.4% over the 2,154 total operational flexible places allocated to MPS as at 30 June 2005.

Target: Quality: All Multipurpose Service sites to comply with service funding agreements.
Result: Target met. All MPS sites fulfilled their service delivery and reporting obligations under the service funding agreements.

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Performance Information for Departmental Outputs

Output Group 1. Policy Advice, including:
  • Rural Health Services.

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. Timely reports commissioned from stakeholders such as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) assist in informing rural health policy development. The AIHW Rural, Regional and Remote Health: Mortality Trends 1992-2003 report, (published 29 March 2006), and the Rural, Regional and Remote Health: Information Framework and Indicators Version 1b report (published 11 November 2005), provided valuable information on health status, determinants of health, health system performance and mortality trends. Reports will be produced on an ongoing basis.

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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 met. Budget predictions and actual expenses varied less than 0.5% from budgeted expenses. Actual variance was 0.21% from budgeted expenses.
Target: Quality: Opportunity for stakeholders to participate in program development.
Result: Target met. Consultation was undertaken with appropriate departmental program areas and State Office networks to identify potential initiatives. The Building Healthy Communities in Australia Steering Group advised on local initiatives. Projects were based on extensive community consultations and needs assessments.

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Performance Assessment: Evaluations and Reviews


Royal Flying Doctor Service review

Timeframe: Commencement date: 2 May 2005

End date: 27 February 2006


Rural Private Access Program evaluation

Timeframe: Commencement date: 2006-07

End date: 2007-08

This evaluation was not undertaken in 2005-06 as it will be included with the broader Rural Health Strategy evaluation scheduled to commence in 2006-07 and be completed in 2007-08.

Related Performance Target: Initiatives are implemented to improve access to specialist and privately insurable health services for rural and remote communities.


Building Healthy Communities in Remote Australia Evaluation

Timeframe: Commencement date: 1 July 2005

End date: 30 May 2008

Related Performance Target: This evaluation relates to the Rural Primary Health Program.

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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-0506-5
If you would like to know more or give us your comments contact: annrep@health.gov.au