Mrs Armitage (Launceston) to ask the Honourable the Leader of the Government -
(1) What was the full cost of the KPMG consultancy which looked at purchasing services from private hospitals, including from Victoria?
Answer from the Leader of Government, Dr Vanessa Goodwin:
DHHS commissioned KPMG to undertake a review of best practice in other jurisdictions, and to advise how to best to align the lessons learned elsewhere with the requirements of Tasmanian procurement procedures. KPMG has delivered various products, including an extensive market sounding, and have primarily been assisting the Department to develop the draft Request for Tender (RFT). The full cost of the KPMG consultancy was $208 526.
(2) (a) Does this purchasing of services from private hospitals, including from Victoria mean dollars that could be spent on opening and operating the new theatres at LGH will not now be spent;
The Action Plan under the National Partnership Agreement agreed last year between the Australian and Tasmanian Governments provides $25.9 million to provide long waiting elective surgery patients with additional choice to enable them to access surgery more quickly than would otherwise be the case. These funds are strictly time limited and will not be available in future years. While it may appear desirable to spend all these funds within our public hospitals, the reality is that this is unrealistic. THOs cannot take on additional staff, particularly surgeons, only to shed them a year later when funds run out – and the capacity of THOs to provide additional surgical activitywithin their existing resource base is, of course, finite.
(b) can the LGH, NWRH and RHH apply for the funds?
All Tasmanian Public Hospitals have had, and continue to have the opportunity to utilise these funds. It is important to note that any activity undertaken with these funds must be “additional” to the normal surgical throughput and not done instead of treating other patients. It is for that reason, as an example, that the Launceston General Hospital is using these funds to purchase an additional 200 ophthalmology procedures that can be undertaken in the local private sector.
(3) If the State obtains a reduced costing for say, ophthalmology patients, will the DHHS/THS be instructed to redirect patients away from existing Tasmanian services to the less expensive service?
No, that is not the intention of this programme.
(Answers provided April 30, 2015)