Clinical Change

New $35m health innovation fund in Queensland

The Palaszczuk Government is leading Australia with a new $35 million innovation fund to provide more targeted services to patients.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said today that the new fund would lead to better cooperation between GPs, hospitals and medical clinics.

“Today I am proud to announce a $35 million integrated care innovation fund – one of the largest of its kind in this country,” he said.

“I want to see Queensland hospitals partnering with GPs and primary health networks to develop a coordinated approach when it comes to treatment, whether that treatment begins in the community or in our hospitals.

“Experts call it ‘integrated care’ and frankly, Australia can do it better.

“Our hospitals and health services are full of ideas for improving the patient journey, and with Queensland Government support, those ideas can become reality.”

Mr Dick said the focus of the $35m Integrated Care Innovation Fund would be on:

  • boosting collaboration between the private, public and non-government sectors to better prevent and detect health issues,
  • ensuring care is shared by hospitals, GPs and primary health networks
  • delivering better cooperation between generalists and specialists, and
  • ensuring funding and organisational structures are based around providing integrated care.

“These projects will create a health system that focuses on integrating patient care, and avoids duplicate testing and unnecessary hospitalisation,” Mr Dick said.

“I want to see more patients accessing treatment and advice faster and closer to home, freeing up specialists in our hospitals to focus on more complex cases.

“More projects like this will deliver a more affordable and sustainable health system for Queenslanders.”

Australian Medical Association Queensland welcomed the establishment of the innovation fund.

“Better integration within the healthcare system will undoubtedly benefit Queenslanders,” AMA Queensland President Dr Chris Zappala said.

“It will be essential, however, to ensure PHNs and other not-for-profit organisations are involved to ensure that innovation projects are broad enough to be sustainable over the long term.”

Brisbane North PHN Chief Executive Abbe Anderson said the extra funding would support people to remain living healthier for longer in the community and in their own homes.

“Integrated patient care reduces demand on the state hospital system by ensuring people are only admitted when they really need to be in hospital,” she said.

“Primary health networks are ideally placed to work with hospitals and primary health care providers to keep people healthy and at home.”

Mr Dick said hospital and health services would compete for funding based on how innovative their ideas were, how well they supported partnerships and their potential to make a significant difference to the community.

The initial $35 million program will run until June 2018.

MEDIA CONTACT:               Andrew Fraser 0428 690 679