National Health Reforms
Thu 17 May 2012
Minister for Health
The Minister for Health, Michelle O'Byrne, said National Health Reforms are already delivering an unprecedented level of financial accountability through new-look budget papers.
Ms O'Byrne said Tasmania's three health regions will be run by Tasmanian Health Organisations (THOs) from 1 July and the budget papers reflect that.
"For the first time, the budget allocation to each region is reported separately so Tasmanians can see how much is spent on services locally.
"Together with the State Government's quarterly Your Health and Human Services Progress Chart and the Federal Government's MyHospitals website, Tasmanians now have an unprecedented level of information about their health system."
Ms O'Byrne said financial accountability was crucial to the introduction of THOs, each run by their own Governing Councils.
"In the new system, the role of the Minister is to chart the strategic course for health and fund the system - but the day-to-day decisions about how services are provided are made locally by hospital administrators.
"These National Health Reforms will deliver an unprecedented level of local ownership, local control and local decision making in the North, the North West and the South."
Ms O'Byrne said this year the health budget papers needed to be read carefully because funding for services was often split between the Agency and THOs.
"Each THO has its own budget section. Significant funds flow directly to the THOs, without passing through the Department, which is why the 2012-13 budget for DHHS cannot be simply compared to the 2011-12 budget."
Under the National Health Reform Agreement between the Australian Government and the states and territories, from 1 July 2014, the Australian Government will provide funding equivalent to 45 per cent of the growth in the efficient cost of block grants, increasing to 50 per cent from 1 July 2017.
The Independent Hospital Pricing Authority will determine what services will be funded by block grants, and the value of the block grants.
Ms O'Byrne said the reforms were aimed at achieving better access to services for patients, improved local accountability and transparency, and greater responsiveness to the needs of local communities.