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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Health
    The Honourable Lawrence Springborg

    Better Healthcare Bonus delivers $100 million boost to frontline services

    Minister for Health
    The Honourable Lawrence Springborg

    Sunday, June 02, 2013

    Better Healthcare Bonus delivers $100 million boost to frontline services

    LNP policies of devolved decision-making have delivered better healthcare and now a bonus - a forecast boost to frontline health services worth up to $100 million.

    Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the savings were a dividend of better health management, and would be used by local Hospital and Health Service Boards to mount a direct assault on long surgical waiting lists left by Labor.

    “This is a Better Healthcare Bonus, delivering frontline health services for all Queenslanders,” Mr Springborg said. 

    “Improved local health delivery strategies have produced increased clinical activity. As we near 30 June, the forecast output of Hospital and Health Services across the State for the 2012–2013 financial year has increased to 101 per cent of budgeted activity.

    “That’s a spectacular achievement, given the impact of Commonwealth funding cuts and the legacy of unfunded costs left by the former Government.

    “Local control has greatly improved hospital emergency department performance. The number of ED patients now processed within four hours is up to 75 per cent, compared to 64 per cent 12 months ago.

    “Now the financial proceeds of better local management are also being redirected into a sustained assault on elective surgery and other front-line priority projects.”

    Mr Springborg said the cumulative results of clinical redesign and administrative changes at the local level, forecast to reach $80 million by 30 June, would be added to the $20 million in savings achieved through head office changes announced early last year. (See list of local highlights below)

    “This is a stronger, more efficient and productive health system,” he said.

    “For Queensland, better health management has produced a Better Healthcare Bonus that was never possible under the former Government.

    “Our Better Healthcare Bonus could have been greater, but for the negative impact of Commonwealth cuts.

    “Nevertheless, it represents a lasting structural improvement that will continue to provide a resource for Queensland patients for years to come.” 
     
    Mr Springborg said Queensland Health was plagued by mammoth bureaucracy and inefficiency under Labor management.

    “Now it is run by local boards accountable for their performance to the local community,” he said.

    “The difference is night and day.”

    “Under the Newman Government, local boards will administer every cent of the money they contributed to the Better Healthcare Bonus and Queenslanders are able to see the results reflected in hospital performance data when it is published in newspapers across the State.

    “Just fourteen months ago, the cost of providing essential health services in Queensland was eleven per cent above the national average.

    “However the pockets of waste and duplication that have been eliminated and the better health delivery practices that have been implemented can give Queenslanders new confidence that, at last, our health system is on the path to recovery.”

    Local highlights/examples of new expenditure:
    • Townsville HHS: 1,000 additional surgical procedures and 5,000 more outpatients’ appointments are now scheduled in a $7 million allocation to reduce waiting lists for elective surgery and ED waiting times
    • Sunshine Coast HHS: Additional general surgery operating lists at Nambour General Hospital will provide 80 additional general surgery operations before June 30, while an additional 137 ear, nose and throat cases will be addressed through the Surgery Connect program. This is forecast to clear the category 3 ENT waiting list of long-wait patients on the coast by June 30
    • Metro North HHS: An additional 270 patients will receive surgery this financial year – including joint replacement surgery at the Prince Charles Hospital, gynaecological surgery at Redcliffe Hospital and general surgery across the district
    • Central Queensland HHS: The development of Acute Primary Care Centres at Rockhampton and Gladstone Hospitals to improve access to Emergency Departments and to provide out-of hours access to primary health care
    • Gold Coast HHS: An allocation of $8 million will be used to eliminate the notorious ‘waiting list for the waiting list’ by providing additional access for patients requiring an outpatient’s appointment. This is expected to generate additional demand for surgery in the new financial year

    [ENDS] 2 June 2013

    Media Contact: Cameron Thompson 0407 585 230