Online version of the 2014-15 Department of Health Annual Report

Outcome 4: Acute Care

Improved access to, and efficiency of, public hospitals, acute and subacute care services, including through payments to state and territory governments

Page last updated: 16 October 2015

Major Achievements

  • In 2014-15, the Government provided $15.1 billion for public hospital services, with the Department working with the Department of the Treasury to implement changes to the Commonwealth public hospital funding arrangements.
  • In 2014-15, the Government provided more than of $59.7 million in reward payments to States and Territories for elective surgery and emergency department achievements under the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services.
  • In 2014-15, the Government also provided $33.1 million under the Tasmanian Health Assistance Package for acute and subacute care, to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and long-term sustainability of Tasmania’s health system.

Challenges

  • Continuing to work with States, Territories and Commonwealth entities including the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority and National Health Funding Body to improve the quality and consistency of public hospital activity and cost data.
  • The Department continues to work with Tasmania to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, and long-term sustainability of Tasmania’s health system through supporting reforms in elective surgery activity.

Looking Ahead

In 2015-16, the Department will work with States and Territories to implement changes to public hospital funding arrangements. The revised arrangements will be informed by the forthcoming White Papers on the Reform of the Federation and Reform of Australia’s Tax System, managed by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of the Treasury respectively.

Programme Contributing to Outcome 4

Division Contributing to Outcome 4

In 2014-15, Outcome 4 was the responsibility of Acute Care Division.

Programme Performance

In 2014-15, the Department worked to achieve this Outcome by managing initiatives under the following programme.

Programme 4.1: Public Hospitals and Information

Programme 4.1 aims to improve access to, and efficiency of, public hospitals through the provision of funding to States and Territories.

Supporting states to deliver efficient public hospital services

The Department continued to work with States and Territories to support the efficient pricing, funding, delivery and accountablity of public hospital services. In 2014-15, the Department also worked with the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority and National Health Funding Body to support the development of the ongoing pricing arrangements for hospital services and to ensure that Commonwealth public hospital funding was distributed accurately and transparently to States and Territories and their Local Hospital Networks.

Qualitative KPI: Improve appropriate utilisation of Emergency Departments.
2014-15 Reference Point: Agreement reached between the Commonwealth, States and Territories on the national framework for patient contributions in Emergency Departments.
Result: Not met
On 3 March 2015, the Minister for Health announced that the proposed 2014-15 Budget measure to introduce patient contributions for General Practitioners (GPs), pathology and diagnostic imaging services would not proceed. As a result, the previously identified change to allow States and Territories to introduce patient contributions for GP-type patients attending public hospital emergency departments did not proceed.
Qualitative KPI: Ensure that residents of north-west Tasmania have ongoing access to local hospital services.
2014-15 Reference Point: Agreement reached with the Tasmanian Government on the long-term arrangement for Mersey Community Hospital.
Result: Substantially met
Agreement was reached with the Tasmanian Government on a new two-year Heads of Agreement for the Mersey Community Hospital.

Improving health services in Tasmania

The Department continued to work with Tasmania to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the State’s health services. In 2014-15, a range of investments were confirmed in discussions between the two Governments.

Quantitative Deliverable: Additional elective surgery procedures for Tasmania.
2014-15 Target: 2,500
2014-15 Actual: 1,401
Result: Not met
This funding supports a critical Elective Surgery Reform programme to improve Tasmania’s capacity to provide cost-effective and sustainable elective surgery. It also funds elective surgery activity which targets patients who have waited the longest for surgery to ensure they receive their operations as a priority, subject to clinical need, and supports Tasmania in reducing its elective surgery waiting times for people who have waited longer than clinically recommended. Tasmania has been finalising a panel of private providers to deliver on the elective surgery commitments. This was not completed in 2014-15, however, it is expected to be in place in 2015-16 and the remaining 2014-15 procedures will be undertaken under these new arrangements in 2015-16.

Mersey Community Hospital

In 2014-15, the Government continued to fund the Tasmanian Government to manage and operate the Mersey Community Hospital at Latrobe. Agreement was also reached on a new Heads of Agreement for the hospital for the next two years. The arrangements will ensure that the hospital will continue to provide a range of public hospital services for people in the north-west region of Tasmania.

Outcome 4 – Financial Resource Summary

Budget
Estimate
2014-15
$’000
(A)
Actual
2014-15
$’000
(B)
Variation
$’000
(B) - (A)
Programme 4.1: Public Hospitals and Information1
Administered expenses
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Act No. 1)96,49693,751(2,745)
Non cash expenses - depreciation 2963963-
Special accounts
Local Hospital Networks Account-1,2611,261
Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation 342,36041,165(1,195)
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the current year 414,90413,800(1,104)
Total for Programme 4.1154,723150,940(3,783)
Outcome 4 Totals by appropriation type
Administered expenses
Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Act No. 1)96,49693,751(2,745)
Non cash expenses - depreciation 2963963-
Special accounts
Local Hospital Networks Account-1,2611,261
Departmental expenses
Departmental appropriation 342,36041,165(1,195)
Expenses not requiring appropriation in the current year 414,90413,800(1,104)
Total expenses for Outcome 4154,723150,940(3,783)
Average staffing level (Number)119117(2)
  1. This Programme includes National Partnerships paid to State and Territory Governments by the Treasury as part of the Federal Financial Relations Framework.
  2. Non cash expenses relate to the depreciation of buildings.
  3. Departmental appropriation combines ‘Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Act No. 1)’ and ‘Revenue from independent sources (s74)’.
  4. ‘Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year’ is made up of depreciation expense, amortisation, make good expense and audit fees.