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Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Page: 3205


Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyMinister for Health) (10:36): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill seeks to amend the definitions of 'local hospital network', 'primary health care organisation', 'private hospital' and 'public hospital' in the National Health Reform Act 2011.

Clear definitions of these terms are required for the National Health Performance Authority to perform its roles, including producing reports on the performance of healthcare bodies and organisations across Australia, and highlighting efficient and innovative practices that can be adopted to improve health care across Australia.

The National Health Performance Authority is a key structure under this government's historic National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA). The performance authority is delivering, for the first time, nationally consistent and locally relevant performance reporting. This reporting, in conjunction with other reforms under the NHRA, will drive system improvements through increased transparency and accountability.

The revised definition of 'public hospital' allows for a multi-limbed approach that better recognises the unique circumstances in each state and territory.

The revised definition also more explicitly recognises the roles of state and territory governments as system managers of the public hospital system through allowing public hospitals to be defined by reference to provisions in relevant state and territory legislation.

The revised definition of 'local hospital network' extends a simpler definition of these entities across the entirety of the National Health Reform Act 2011, by linking that term to entities established to meet the local hospital network provisions of the National Health Reform Agreement.

The amendment to the definition of 'private hospital' aims to simplify the administrative process for understanding what a private hospital is for reporting purposes. It does this by referencing declarations under the Private Health Insurance Act 2007.

Finally, the bill contains technical amendments to provide an explicit power for the minister to make a legislative instrument, rather than leaving that power as implied in the definitions.

These amendments are straightforward and necessary and will simplify the administration of performance reporting by the National Health Performance Authority.

Debate adjourned.