NEW legislation to improve the way health services are delivered across the Territory has been drafted, and is now open for public comment.
Minister for Health Robyn Lambley said the reforms will establish two boards of management – the Top End Health Service and the Central Australian Health Service.
“This New Service Framework will provide clear direction for the roles and responsibilities of the two public health sector bodies in the Northern Territory including their chief operating officers, boards of management and the Department of Health,” Mrs Lambley said.
“We are committed to providing a culture that focuses on a healthy, active and enjoyable lifestyle – and to be able to do this the Territory needs a strong health system,” she said.
“The framework will provide the foundations for a health system that addresses the needs of individuals, their families and communities, and will provide Territorians with timely access to quality health services regardless of where they live.”
The Health Services Bill will provide the Minister with the powers to appoint members of the boards of management and provide directions to these boards as and when required.
The boards will govern and negotiate agreements with the Department for the delivery of public health services. The agreements will cover issues such as financing, staffing, safety, quality and other measures.
“Currently, the budget for health services is managed by the Department of Health. With the new framework, the boards of management will take responsibility for managing their own budgets.”
The main purpose of the new legislation is to: deliver more local input into health services; break down silos within the health system; and ensure that services are shaped to meet the local community needs.
Following the period of public consultation, it is planned that the Bill will be introduced into Parliament next February with the aim for it to be in effect on July 1, 2014.
Feedback on the Draft Health Services Bill can be made by clicking on the ‘email enquiries’ button on the website before the end of November.