Health Care Act

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Monitoring the implementation of Transforming Health

Transforming Health is a major state government initiative to improve the metropolitan Adelaide public acute hospital system, aligning new models of health care delivery with new and upgraded hospital facilities. In March 2015, SA Health’s Delivering Transforming Health – Our Next Steps information document was released, outlining initial decisions, a commitment to ongoing engagement and timelines for the first changes under the program.

Indicator reports

Our indicator reports monitor changes over the Transforming Health program implementation. We selected indicators to monitor changes in patient access and equity taken from the case for change stated in SA Health’s Our Next Steps:

  1. Too many deaths occur in our hospitals
  2. Long waiting times for discharge or placement
  3. Too many transfers between hospitals
  4. Senior clinicians unavailable.

We have prioritised monitoring indicators that may show whether system or policy changes are causing unwarranted widening of health outcomes gaps between specific populations, particularly vulnerable groups such as Aboriginal people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, lower socio-economic areas, aged persons and rural and remote residents. We monitor hospitalisations (inpatient separations), average length of overnight stay, hospitalisations ending with death in hospital and hospitalisations ending with transfer to another hospital over time. Results are also presented by SA Health Local Health Network.


How South Australia compares with other states and territories for selected health performance indicators in the 2017 Report on Government Services

Every year the Productivity Commission releases its Report on Government Services (RoGS), providing information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia. RoGS includes a Health volume that covers primary and community health, ambulance, public hospitals and mental health.

This HPC report summarises South Australian health system performance outcomes ranked with the other states and territories, as well as compared with national averages and previous reporting periods.


Our response to the Productivity Commission Reforms to Human Services inquiry (2016)

HPC has responded to a Productivity Commission report from December 2016 that suggests key human services are in need of reform to offer more choice and competition. The Productivity Commission identify services such as public hospitals, public dental services and end of life care. While mentioning international examples of choice and competition policy, the report offers no explanation about how this might drive improvements in individual or population health outcomes or service delivery outcomes. The HPC is concerned that if this inquiry recommends trialling any competition based reforms to human services, and particularly in public hospitals, that these preconditions should be met:

  • transparency of performance monitoring and reporting outcomes
  • service providers accountable for fostering consumer and community information literacy
  • government stewardship including sufficient funding and regulatory systems that take in consumer feedback and complaints management
  • recognition that a balanced and consumer-centred health system fosters better health outcomes and is most efficient when it integrates preventive and primary care with hospital services.

Our submission to the Productivity Commission – Reforms to Human Services: Issues Paper December 2016 expands on these points.


Health care for people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds

In 2015, the Health Performance Council commissioned a study to explore key issues in health care for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) populations in South Australia. The scope of CALD populations for this study included new and emerging communities (new migrants and refugees) and established CALD communities, with a focus on older people from CALD backgrounds.

The study's report by Dr Iolanda Principe of IP Strategic Solutions, Issues in Health Care in South Australia for People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds - A Scoping Study for the Heath Performance Councilidentifies current priority issues regarding appropriate care and quality of experience for people from CALD backgrounds through consultation with CALD peak bodies, advocacy groups and service providers, as well as a review of relevant information and research outcomes.


Aboriginal health in South Australia

At the seventh Aboriginal Leaders' Forum on 31 May 2017, HPC launched its second Aboriginal Health Case Study report as a consultation draft for feedback. HPC invited stakeholders and interested parties in Aboriginal health to comment on consultation questions (see page 4 of the consultation draft report). These questions were developed in conjunction with this case study across four broad areas:

  • Have we covered what we said we would cover?
  • How can we share the report?
  • What should be the next steps?
  • What future research questions should be considered?

Valued feedback to the consultation draft was provided by Aboriginal leaders, SA Health, expert independent bodies and other interested parties during the consultation phase. Feedback and advice is being incorporated into a final report.

This second case study follows the HPC's 2014 report, Aboriginal Health in South Australia 2011-2014: A Case Study, our first assessment of how the health system is performing for Aboriginal people.


Improving End of Life Care for South Australians

Quality end of life care is an important measure of a humane society and an essential element of heath care systems. Improving End of Life Care for South Australians reviews progress on the implementation of SA Health's Palliative Care Services Plan 2009-2016 and considers ways to improve the quality of life for South Australians at the end of life.


Mental Health in Rural and Remote South Australian Communities

We heard from country Health Advisory Councils that mental health was a very important issue for regional South Australia, so we looked at mental health outcomes and mental health services in country South Australia. Mental Health in Rural and Remote South Australian Communities details our findings.


Review of Country Health Advisory Councils' Governance Arrangements

The HPC's review of the governance arrangements between Country Health SA and the Health Advisory Councils was undertaken in accordance with its mandate under the Health Care Act 2008. We submitted our report to the Minister for Health on 31 December 2011 and it was tabled in Parliament on 4 April 2012.