Wednesday 14 July 2010

Hansard of the Legislative Council


Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - My question is to the honourable Leader.  Will the Health department spending review, which is now underway, compare funding per patient at the Royal Hobart Hospital with funding received per patient at the Launceston General Hospital?  Can the Leader assure the House that funding for the two hospitals is distributed in a fair and equitable way?

Mr PARKINSON - I thank the honourable member for his parochial question.  As part of the Department of Health and Human Services' financial strategy it will continue to review expenditure across all the areas of the agency to ascertain where there are savings to be made through efficiency gains and cost reductions, including increased revenue from the provision of other services.

To meet the requirements of the National Health and Hospital Network reforms hospitals will need to meet a nationally efficient price for services and therefore it is imperative that the cost structures of the State's acute hospitals are reviewed to ensure that the nationally efficient price can be met.  A process to correlate, analyse and report on activity, information and cost data for the three acute hospitals in the State has been in process for some time and over the next 12 months the process will continue to be refined to ensure that there we are well prepared for the introduction of the Australian Government health reforms.  Secondly, the annual budgets provided to all areas of the agency, including the Royal Hobart Hospital and the Launceston General Hospital, are primarily based on prior-year spend, allowing for services or reforms that have been completed and inclusive of new funding provided in the State or Federal budgets.