One year of health system reform amidst mounting demand

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
  • Department of Health’s 2022-23 Annual Report has been released.
  • The report shows Queensland Health is in the top 25% of health systems in Australia across a range of metrics, including ED efficiency.
  • $8 billion in contracts have been awarded to expand or build new hospitals.
  • New initiatives have been launched to bolster the health workforce.
  • Numerous other health initiatives have been rolled out to ensure high quality care for Queensland patients

Health Minister Shannon Fentiman has today tabled Queensland Health’s Annual Report. The report demonstrates a strong year of reform and progress despite burgeoning demand on our hospitals and a global workforce shortage.

In positive news, Queensland Health ranked in the top quartile of state and territory health systems across multiple metrics, including ED efficiency and average length of hospitals stays.

More than $8 billion in contracts to expand or build hospitals were awarded, helping deliver the biggest health capital program in Queensland’s history, including 3,378 new beds – 500 of which will be delivered in the 2023-24 financial year.

A range of innovative measures were put in place to attract talented healthcare workers to Queensland, including the Workforce Attraction Incentive Scheme which offers interstate and overseas healthcare workers up to $70,000 to live and work in Queensland.

96 Rural Generalist Obstetricians joined Queensland Health, and the Maternity Medical Working Group helped to reinstate birthing services at Gladstone Hospital.

It was a record year for mental health investment, with the launch of the $1.64 billion Better Care Together plan. It boosted statewide support for eating disorder services, new youth acute response teams, and 8 new beds at Catherine’s House for new mothers experiencing post-natal depression and their babies.

The $764 million Putting Patients First plan was unveiled to tackle ambulance ramping and response times, while HealthQ32 sets out a 10-year vision for Queensland Health.

Queensland Health also continued to provide vital virtual care services, with an average of 2,000 virtual interactions every day during 2022-23.

13HEALTH received 114,166 calls, and Quitline service conducted 20,174 smoking cessation sessions.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman:

“Queensland Health’s Annual Report demonstrates the significant work that occurs every day to deliver a health system dedicated to caring for Queenslanders.

“The fact Queensland Health is outperforming most other states and territories across a range of metrics reflects the skill, commitment and care of its workforce.

“It is also testament to the significant work that has occurred implementing innovative solutions to address distinct challenges and delivering the largest ever investment in health infrastructure.

“We know that there is aways more work to do. But we are building more infrastructure, delivering more beds, and hiring more staff, which will deliver better results.”

“Reforming the health system was a top priority last financial year, and I look forward to continuing our hard work to drive better performance and deliver world-class healthcare for Queenslanders, closer to home

Further highlights from the Department of Health’s 2022-23 Annual Report:

  • completed six trials focused on expanding nurse-to-patient ratios into high-demand areas, including emergency departments and maternity wards
  • a pilot of cervical screening self-collection in GP settings by the department’s Cancer Screening Branch, in partnership with two Primary Health Networks
  • 41 initiatives funded through the Connected Communities Pathway program with 25 fully implemented, including the establishment of seven sites for Better Cardiac Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • expansion of the QAS Mental Health Co Responders program to 15 sites, providing specialised clinical interventions to around 1,400 people a month and enabling up to 70 per cent of them to be seen outside of an ED
  • the development of Our health, our mob, our ways: Queensland’s First Nations Health Workforce Strategy for Action to 2032, which included the creation of 19 First Nations health practitioner positions to enhance community outreach of HHS services
  • the delivery of the Safe and Healthy Drinking Water Program in 26 of the 31 eligible communities
  • a commitment of more than $100 million to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for First Nations peoples, as part of the Making Tracks towards First Nations Health Equity Investment Strategy 2022-2023
  • expansion of the Growing Deadly Families Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Maternity Strategy 2019-2025 with investment in maternal models of care in six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations
  • introduction of a scholarship and mentoring program for First Nations and maternal health undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • construction of the North Queensland Distribution Centre was finalised with practical completion of the facility achieved in May 2023
  • the launch of the Healthy Skin Health Heart campaign as part of the Ending Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD): Queensland First Nations Strategy for 2021-2024

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