With Canberra’s third public hospital set to open in mid-2018 and growing demand to meet population growth, the ACT Government will separate operational health services from policy and planning function to improve access, timeliness and quality of health services for Canberrans and those in the region.
From 1 October 2018, ACT Health will be separated into two organisations, focussed on:
- the delivery of quality health services to our growing community, and
- the strategic policy and planning stewardship of the health system.
This will bring the ACT into line with every other Australian jurisdiction.
“This is all about making sure Canberrans get the best possible care and continue to be the healthiest people in the country. With our health system expanding and increasing demand on our health services, now is the perfect time to move towards a more contemporary health system. This separation will enable a clearer focus on operational effectiveness and efficiency, and improve accountability for health service delivery,” said Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris.
“The ACT Government will continue to invest in preventive, community and hospital-based services to build and improve health facilities in the ACT, for a Territory wide system that is adaptable to the community’s changing needs.
“Both organisations will continue ACT Health’s commitment to the health of our community, specifically an approach to health that is all about people, as well as a commitment to quality, innovation, engagement and accountability.
“The clinical and service planning underway through the Territory-wide Health Services Framework will remain a key priority for government and we will continue to establish clinical Centres, which will group clinical services through Centre Service Plans and Specialty Service Plans.
“Critical to getting the reform right is continuing to talk to the community, ACT Health’s workforce and non-government partners. We look forward to having conversations over the coming months to guide these new organisations,” said Minister Fitzharris.
The health service delivery organisation will focus on delivering person-centred care, while the health policy and planning organisation will oversee the operation of the health system and set its direction, as outlined by the ACT Government, specifically the Minister for Health and Wellbeing and the Minister for Mental Health.
“This separation will facilitate improved mental health services delivery, while also allowing mental health policy to improve its focus – within Health and across Government. The establishment of the Office for Mental Health will ensure that these efforts are well coordinated,” said Minister for Mental Health, Shane Rattenbury.
Two new executive positions will be created to lead the new organisations and the current Director-General position will no longer exist from 1 October 2018.
The ACT Health Director-General has advised the government that she will pursue new opportunities, having successfully led ACT Health over the past three years and positioned the organisation to take this important next step in its transformation.
“We thank Ms Nicole Feely for her commitment and focus. She has been instrumental in beginning this reform process within ACT Health, transforming strategy and positioning ACT Health for a sustainable financial future.
“Her strategic insight and operational expertise has skilfully repositioned the Directorate for the transition to a truly person-centred, integrated health service.
“On a personal level, Ms Feely has been a considered and astute support to us both in our roles, and to the Government more broadly. We thank Nicole and wish her every success,” said Minister Fitzharris.
For the immediate period, Ms Karen Doran will act as the Director-General of ACT Health. A small dedicated team will be established to guide the planning and delivery of the new structure with leadership from ACT Health Deputy Directors-General as a reference group. Staff, employee representatives and health stakeholders and the broader community will be consulted.
“This is an exciting new chapter in the progression of ACT Health’s quality service delivery,” said Minister Fitzharris.
“Thank you to the dedicated ACT Health staff who care for our community and make Canberra the healthiest city in Australia. Our ambition to be a leader in person-centred care can only be achieved with our staff, stakeholders and the community working together.
“We value your input and look forward to the conversations over the next six months and to receiving recommendations on the final detail of the new arrangements,” Minister Fitzharris said.
ACT Health Background
The ACT Government is committed to keeping Canberrans healthy and well and providing the highest quality healthcare to our community. As our city grows, it is vital our health system remains contemporary to meet the needs of our growing and ageing community.
ACT Health delivers patient-centred care in acute, sub-acute and community settings, as well as health-related policy and planning in the ACT.
Services are provided to the ACT community, as well as the growing south eastern NSW region.
ACT Health employs around 7,000 people and operates a budget of over $1.6 billion in 2017-18.
This year ACT Health will further expand with the opening of the University of Canberra Hospital and a new Walk-in Centre in Gungahlin, in addition to significant health infrastructure planning and the rollout of the Territory-wide Health Services Framework, the Quality Strategy and Digital Strategy.
There is also important work underway on preventive health and mental health. Since the National Health Reform Agreement in 2011, state and territory-based health organisations around Australia have changed to keep pace with the community’s healthcare needs, as well as policy and funding reform.
Claire Johnston (Fitzharris):
T: (02) 6205 0022 M: 0452 597 459 Email: ClaireV.Johnston@act.gov.au
Lisa Gardner (Rattenbury):
T: (02) 6205 3897 M: 0481 035 764 Email: email@example.com