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Queensland signs up for public health funding.

The Queensland and Federal Governments today signed, two historic health agreements to strengthen Queensland's public health effort.

In Brisbane today Federal Health and Family Services Minister, Dr Michael Wooldridge and Queensland Health Minister, Mike Horan, together signed a bilateral Public Health Outcome Funding Agreement which, for the first time, provides a single sum of $47.1 million to Queensland for public health programs.

Mr Horan welcomed the agreement and said the arrangement was a new deal for Queensland, giving the State Government greater flexibility in directing its public health funding.

"This new arrangement will allow us to better target public health strategies, including immunisation, breast screening, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and HIV educational and prevention programs," Mr Horan said.

"Such an agreement signals a more constructive, common-sense working relationship between the Queensland and Federal Governments," he said.

Dr Wooldridge said the agreement would give the Queensland Government the opportunity to tailor spending to meet local needs and priorities, to achieve the specific public health goals both tiers of government had jointly set and agreed upon.

"This is a major departure from the past where the Commonwealth had distributed funding tied to specific programs with all sorts of strings attached," Dr Wooldridge said.

"The Coalition Government believes that people on the ground, actually involved in running public health services, are better placed to decide how money should be spent than people who are thousands of miles away in the national capital."

In the last Federal Budget, the Federal Government rolled up Specific Purpose Payments for programs such as HIV/AIDS Matched Funding, the National Cervical Screening Program, the National Childhood Immunisation Program and the National Drug Strategy into a bulk allocation for use by the States and Territories for public health.

Dr Wooldridge said the new agreement aimed to improve public health strategies by eliminating duplication between governments.

The agreements also contain provision for the development of demonstration projects focussing on best practice and the payment of incentives to encourage improved outcomes for pre-agreed - public health priorities," he said.

- Queensland also today signed an agreement supporting the establishment of the National Public Health Partnership, which will underpin the Public Health Outcome Funding Agreement.

"The National Public Health partnership is about the Commonwealth and the States and Territories agreeing to a vision for a modern and comprehensive national public health effort with clearly defined roles and responsibilities to achieve an effective public health action," Dr Wooldridge said.


Bill Royce, Dr Wooldridge's Office, 0412 137 699

David McClune, Mr Horan's Office, 0417 758 201

Anthony Havers, Mr Horan's Office, 0417 751 693