PDF printable version of Australian Health Ministers’ Conference Communiqué (PDF 22 KB)
5 August 2011
Australian Health Ministers completed a two day meeting of the Australian Health Ministers Conference in Darwin today, chaired by WA Health Minister, Dr Kim Hames, where a range of health and hospital issues were discussed.
National Health Reform Signing
Ministers welcomed the signing of the 2011 National Health Reform Agreement. This Agreement is a partnership to drive improved health services for Australian patients, and all Australian Health Ministers are committed to its success.
MyHospitals – New Performance data
Ministers agreed to include vital new information about safety and quality performance in Australian hospitals on the MyHospitals website.
Ministers agreed that the MyHospitals website would include information on Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteraemia (SAB) infections from October 2011.
Ministers agreed that it was important to give information to consumers about hospital based infections and the MyHospitals website means that this information will be available for the first time nationally with a few strokes of the keyboard.
Over time, hospital readmission rates will also be included on the website.
Prevention Agency Strategic and Operational Plans
Ministers today considered and agreed to the Australian National Preventive Health Agency's inaugural Strategic Plan 2011-2015, and Operational Plan 2011-2012. The Strategic Plan sets out the Agency's vision for health, its mission and the values that underpin its work in its first five year phase. It proposes six high level strategic goals including health public policy, health risk reduction, and knowledge management, including prevention research, national surveillance and analysis and quality improvement in the prevention workforce. The strategic and operation plans will be published shortly.
Antimicrobial Stewardship in Australian Hospitals
Ministers have agreed that a growing issue in Australia is that of antibiotic resistance. A major cause of antibiotic resistance is the inappropriate use of antibiotics and other antimicrobials resulting in resistance of bacteria to these medications. A national approach to this problem is welcome.
Ministers noted the release of Antimicrobial Stewardship in Australian Hospitals 2011, by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, is an important part of national action to combat antimicrobial resistance in Australia.
Ministers noted that antimicrobial stewardship is part of a number of national initiatives to assist hospitals reduce antimicrobial resistance.
Ministers noted that partnerships between healthcare providers, patients and consumers are an important aspect of the delivery of safe and high quality care in Australia. There is good evidence that these partnerships have significant benefits for the quality and outcomes of clinical care, the patient experience of care, the effectiveness of health services. Patient-centred care is also a core principle of the national health reforms.
Ministers agreed to the release of an Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care discussion paper Patient-Centred Care: Improving quality and safety through partnerships with patients which provides practical strategies for health services to improve the delivery of health care by taking a more patient-centred approach.
Rationalisation of Health Data Reporting
Australian Health Ministers today noted the need to rationalise health data collections and reporting in the context of the national health reforms.
Over the past decade there has been a significant growth in the number of national data collections, reporting requirements on States and Territories and national bodies reporting to parliament and the community on various aspects of the Australian health care system. While strongly supporting reporting on the performance and effectiveness of health improvement and health services in Australia, Ministers agreed that it was appropriate to now take stock and review the multiplicity of these reports.
Health Ministers agreed to establish a time limited Working Group to review opportunities to improve the effectiveness of health data reporting.
Health Ministers noted future work will be undertaken with the new National Health Performance Authority.
Professional Indemnity Insurance Exemption for Independent Privately Practising Midwives
Ministers agreed to a further 12 month extension of the exemption to 1 July 2013 while further options are explored with a report back to the next Health Ministers meeting.
Media contact: Minister Hames’ office: Peta Rule, 0428 923 661
Minister Roxon’s office: 0409 945 476