Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania



18 February 2020

Sarah Courtney, Minister for Health

Supporting local health leadership to build a better health system

The Tasmanian majority Liberal Government is committed to building a better health system, with new investment to meet increasing demand, and the right leadership structures in place to deliver the support our hospitals need.

With a record $8.1 billion investment in Tasmania’s health system over four years, and an additional $600 million announced last week to meet demand on hospitals, we also recognise the critical importance of having the most effective governance structure in place. This includes strengthening lines of accountability to better support local management, and a clear corporate structure to provide more clarity and support for everyone who works within the health system.

Following a review of the health system’s governance, changes are being made in line with actions from the 2019 Access Solutions Meeting.

This includes abolishing the standalone Tasmanian Health Service Executive. Under the new structure, the Chief Executive North/North West and Chief Executive South roles will directly focus on our four major hospitals, and will be authorised and empowered to deliver integrated acute hospital and community care.

Formerly, these roles reported to a THS Executive, who in turn reported to a Department executive. Under the new structure the two Chief Executives will be accountable directly to the Secretary of the Department of Health, as part of a single statewide Health Executive.

We have one health system, and we will now have one health executive team.

This new structure will drive improved decision-making, enhance accountability and further empower local hospital management to best manage local demand, with a greater focus on community-based care and health-system reform.

Statutory roles for the Tasmanian Health Service and Department of Health will be performed by this single executive team.

A new role of Deputy Secretary - Community, Mental Health and Wellbeing will also report directly to the Secretary. This position will support the coordinated delivery of key community-facing health services, including Ambulance Tasmania, Mental Health, Public Health, Population and Preventative Health/Wellbeing and non-acute state-wide services. An Executive Director of Business Improvement and Reform position will oversee the implementation of key health reform projects, including the Statewide Access & Patient Flow Program.

The new governance structure will assist to efficiently deliver and fully realise the benefits of initiatives and improvements across the health system, including the recently announced modernisation of the IT system, providing a more effective system for clinicians and patients.

It is also expected these administrative changes will be delivered without an increase in the total number of Senior Executive positions, through the abolishment and redesign of existing executive roles aligned directly to key priorities.

The new structure also responds to recommendations made in recent reports of the Auditor-General, and will be instrumental in helping us to deliver the step-change we need to build a better health system.

The Department will commence transitioning arrangements from 2 March 2020.

Detailed information about the new structure is available on the Department of Health website: https://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/about_the_department



More Media Releases from Sarah Courtney

More Media Releases from the Minister for Health