Australian Health Ministers’ Conference Communique

The Australian Health Ministers' Conference met in Hobart on 17 February.

Page last updated: 17 February 2011

PDF printable version of Australian Health Ministers’ Conference Communique (PDF 31 KB)

17 February 2011

Health Reform

Commonwealth, State and Territory Health Ministers at the Australian Health Ministers Conference in Hobart today, chaired by WA Minister for Health, Dr Kim Hames, took the opportunity to further discuss the historic health reform agreement reached by COAG last weekend.

Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, confirmed that the National Health Reform Agreement guarantees the Commonwealth will provide no less than $16.4 billion in additional growth funding to the States and Territories between 2014-15 and 2019-20.
The Commonwealth will increase its contribution to efficient growth funding for hospitals to 45 per cent from 1 July 2014, increasing to 50 per cent from 1 July 2017.

A key focus of the reforms is to establish a fair price for hospital services as the basis for Commonwealth funding of hospitals, driving efficiency and clarity on what the Commonwealth receives for its investment in public hospitals.

Importantly, the National Health Reform Agreement recognises that the states remain exclusively responsible for the planning, management and control of public hospitals and remain accountable for their performance. Ultimately this Agreement is a partnership to drive improved health services for Australian patients, and all Australian Health Ministers are committed to its success.

Organ and Tissue donation rates

Ministers discussed the significant rise in organ donation rates since the introduction of the Australian government’s $151.1 million Reform Agenda, and noted that next week is DonateLife Week, which aims to raise awareness amongst Australians on the importance of organ donations providing an opportunity to focus on this increased effort.

In 2010 there were 309 deceased donors which is the highest result ever achieved in Australia. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to increasing Australia’s organ and tissue rates by proactively promoting organ and tissue donations and committing to effectively managing retrieval, tissue typing and transplant issues pro-actively - so that all transplant opportunities presented by increased donation rates are realised.

Other issues

Ministers discussed a range of other issues including:
  • the outstanding efforts of health staff around the country in responding to recent natural disasters, including the Queensland floods and cyclone and the Victorian floods;
  • the establishment of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency; and
  • work plan for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care which includes ensuring programs, such as better medication safety are adopted in mental health settings; developing online education modules for health professionals to promote better use of antibiotics; and helping hospitals and day procedure services to implement a suite of accreditation standards including reducing infection of patients in healthcare services.

Media Contact: Ms Peta Rule, Dr Hames’ office – 0428 923 661
Ms Roxon’s Office 02 6277 7220

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