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New data reveals widespread improvement in public hospital performance

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP Minister for Health Minister for Medical Research


25 July 2013

New Data Reveals Widespread Improvement in Public Hospital Performance

The Federal Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, has welcomed new data showing widespread improvement in public hospital performance across Australia.

“The Federal Government’s record extra $19.8 billion investment in public hospitals is paying off for patients,” Ms Plibersek said.

“All public hospital peer groups saw an improvement in the percentage of patients who had urgent surgery on time.

“Nearly all public hospital peer groups saw an increase in the percentage of patients leaving emergency departments within the four hour target period,” Ms Plibersek said.

There was little change in the results across public hospital peer groups for non-urgent surgery.

The new data comes from the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA), and was released today.

The data was for the January - March 2013 quarter and was compared with the same quarter in 2012.

Victoria, Western Australia, and South Australia were the only states to have any of their larger public hospitals record statistically significant declines in emergency department performance.

“While this data shows generally improved performance, we need to continue the pressure for further improvement,” Ms Plibersek said.

“All states and territories must make the most of the Federal Government’s record extra hospital investment to get better results for patients.

“States and territories will have to lift their game if they are to meet both their surgery and their emergency department targets by 2015,” Ms Plibersek said.

Hospitals are divided into peer groups by the NHPA for the purposes of meaningful and fair comparison. The peer groups are: major metropolitan hospitals, large metropolitan hospitals, major regional hospitals, large regional hospitals, and medium hospitals.

“The Government established the National Health Performance Authority as part of its national health reform agenda, to ensure all Australians have access to transparent information about the performance of our health system.

“But if the Coalition wins government, it has indicated it will get rid of the National Health Performance Authority and with it free public access to data that shows how our health system is performing.

“That’s because Tony Abbott would cut hospital funding but wouldn’t want the public to see how far hospital performance would fall,” Ms Plibersek said.

In 2013-14, the Federal Government’s total investment in Australian public hospitals is a record $14.9 billion, and this will continue to rise year on year.

More detailed performance information, including at a hospital level, is publicly available on the MyHospitals website.