Acute Care Division (ACD)

Acute Care Division of the Department of Health is committed to providing a positive difference to all Australians in relation to cost-effective, high quality acute and subacute care, choices about health care services and access to dental health services. This is achieved by ensuring Australians have access to public hospitals, related hospital care and medical services.

Page last updated: 22 October 2013

The Acute Care Division's mission is to support the provision of, and improve access for all Australians to, cost-effective, high quality public hospital services and dental health services.

ACD supports the Government in its reform of the health and hospital system, including:

  1. implementation of the new funding and governance arrangements for hospitals, primary care and aged care;
  2. reconfiguring health service delivery to achieve better health outcomes for people living in rural and remote communities;
  3. lead across government the introduction and refinement of new financial and governance arrangements for Australian public hospital services;
  4. ACD will also continue to provide effective strategic policy advice and capability to enable the Commonwealth to fulfil its roles and responsibilities under national health reform in relation to public hospital and health services. This includes working with states, territories and other key stakeholders, with particular reference to the new agencies created under the National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA).

The Division is structured into five branches including a Principal Adviser and a Principal Medical Adviser.

Blood, Organ and Dental Branch

Branch priorities:

  1. policy and programs for the cost effective delivery of affordable dental health services for disadvantaged Australians
  2. supports better health, safety and wellbeing for all Australians by improving the quality and efficiency of the national blood sector, and organ and tissue donation
  3. working collaboratively with a number of health portfolio agencies and inter-governmental stakeholders to provide policy advice and programs which improve quality and efficiency of the national blood sector, and organ and tissue donation
  4. advice on organ donation matters, including on Australian Organ Donor Register and to support development of a combined government position on directed donation and special release of cord blood unit

Financing and Analysis Branch

Branch priorities:

  1. policy oversight for hospital financing, the responsibility for coordination of NHRA funding measures and support for divisional data management systems
  2. effective working relationships with national health reform agencies (the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority, the Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool, the National Health Funding Body and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care)
  3. other specific purpose initiatives aimed at improving the sustainability of public hospital services

Hospital Performance, Governance and Infrastructure Branch

Branch priorities:

The branch supports high quality, accessible and timely acute care services for all Australians through the provision of evidence-based policy advice to the Government.

The branch contributes to the Commonwealth's health and hospital reform agenda, focussing on both short and long-term policy initiatives. A core component of the branch function is the delivery of policy analysis and advice on key reform initiatives. These include:

  1. hospital performance, safety, quality and governance policy
  2. National Health Performance Authority liaison and analysis of hospital reporting
  3. Local Hospital Network performance and local integration
  4. clinical governance and engagement, including supporting the work of the National Lead Clinicians Group
  5. Health and Hospitals Fund projects funded under the $5 billion nation-building infrastructure program

Hospital Services Policy and Planning Branch

The Branch is primarily responsible for policy and program oversight of hospital-related national measures to improve the sustainability and access to public hospital systems. It does this through national partnership agreements (NPAs), secretariat support to the COAG Expert Panel and secretariat support to the Commission on the Delivery of Health Services in Tasmania.

Branch responsibilities:

  1. oversight of the $325 million Tasmanian Health Assistance Package
  2. elective surgery
  3. emergency departments and ambulance services
  4. subacute care (and palliative care, only as it relates to Tasmania)
  5. Commission on the Delivery of Health Services in Tasmania
  6. COAG Expert Panel
  7. COAG s.19(2) Exemption Initiative

Safety, Quality and Research Branch

Branch priorities:

The Branch has policy responsibility for health and medical research (working with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)), including clinical trials, cloning and stem cell research. The Branch also works to improve safety and quality in the health care system, including through working with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC).

The Branch is also working to develop two national clinical quality registers for high risk breast and cardiac devices and is working to develop a national patient contact protocol for high risk implantable therapeutic devices.

The Branch provides a watching brief across the health portfolio on programs relevant to safety, quality and research.