The Health News – 29 April 2016

Overview:
• The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has announced a major $3 million expansion of its operations at Broken Hill in far west New South Wales. The organisation reached an agreement with Broken Hill City Council on Wednesday night to purchase land adjoining its existing base near the city’s airport.

• Three of South Australia’s major public hospitals cost more than similar facilities interstate to provide the same services The National Health Performance Authority has found.

• Canberra’s two hospitals spend more money providing acute care than any other major metropolitan hospital in the country, according to data from the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA).

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  29th of April 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-28/flying-doctor-plans-major-expansion-of-broken-hill-base/7366972

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has announced a major $3 million expansion of its operations at Broken Hill in far west New South Wales.

The organisation reached an agreement with Broken Hill City Council on Wednesday night to purchase land adjoining its existing base near the city’s airport.

A new hangar will house four Beechcraft Kingair aeroplanes, and allow the RFDS to employ and train more engineers in Broken Hill.

“The existing hangar was imported in a box from the UK in 1938,” South Eastern Section general manager David Charlton said.

“This will be a state-of-the-art facility that’s air-conditioned, which means fatigue in our staff working on the aircraft will be lower, which for us gives us a more productive workforce,” he said.

“[It] lets us do more with what we’ve got and certainly also gives us more opportunity to train engineers into the future in Broken Hill.”

The expansion has been funded entirely by donations from the public.

The new hangar will be joined by an expanded visitor centre, with two new historical aircraft set to go on display for the first time, as well as other artefacts from the RFDS’s 90 years of operation.

The RFDS hopes the hangar will be constructed by the end of the year, and the entire project will be complete in early 2017.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-28/sa-hospitals-among-the-most-costly-report-finds/7366876

Three of South Australia’s major public hospitals cost more than similar facilities interstate to provide the same services, a national report has found.

The National Health Performance Authority ranked more than 100 of the country’s hospitals on the basis of efficiency over a three-year period from 2011 to 2014.

The Royal Adelaide and Queen Elizabeth hospitals were amongst those with the highest average cost in terms of services for acute patients.

The cost of an average service at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was $5,200, higher than the national average by $780.

The cost of care was also higher at the Flinders Medical Centre, but the report found the Lyell McEwin and Modbury hospitals were more efficient than other hospitals of a similar size.

The report comes amidst debate on the South Australian Government’s Transforming Health plans.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-28/canberra’s-two-hospitals-least-efficient-report-says/7364676

Canberra’s two hospitals spend more money providing acute care than any other major metropolitan hospital in the country, according to data from the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA).

Figures from the agency showed hospitals in metropolitan areas spent wildly different amounts to treat similar patients in similar situations.

Hospitals in the ACT and WA were among the least efficient, spending up to $6,100 for what was considered an “average” treatment to an acute patient.

Victorian hospitals were among the most efficient, spending as little as $3,100 to provide the same care.

The Canberra Hospital topped the list of highest spending hospitals, and Calvary Hospital, also in the ACT, was the second highest spender.

Frankston Hospital in Victoria was ranked the most efficient, followed closely by three other Victorian hospitals.

ACT Health Minister Simon Corbell defended the figures, and said the lower efficiencies were linked to reduced demand due to Canberra’s relatively small population.

Mr Corbell also said costs were higher due to above-average salaries of clinical staff, and the fact a third of ACT Health employees were still linked to the legacy Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme.