We have a new entry for the Croakey Register of Unreleased Documents.
As well, the Nutbeam review of public health research funding has been officially liberated from the Register as it was released, at last, in June.
CRUD records the details of evaluations, plans, reviews and other such documents that should be released (whether by governments or other commissioning bodies), in the interests of promoting better informed policy, practice and debate.
The new entry is:
• The Government undertook a Strategic Review of Future Funding Arrangements for Diagnostic Imaging and Pathology Services to consider options for the future funding of these, including the impact of those arrangements on Government expenditure and the availability and affordability for patients of diagnostic imaging and pathology services.
The DoHA website states that ‘It is expected that the review will be considered by the Government in the lead up to the 2009-10 Budget’.
There are considerable changes made to the funding of pathology and diagnostic imaging services in the Budget (spending of $982.0 million / 4 years with offsetting savings of $922.7 million) but the review itself does not seem to be publicly available.
If anyone can provide Croakey with a copy of the review, we would be most grateful.
Other CRUD entries:
• A Hospital Information and Performance Program Review and a National Hospital Cost Data Collection Review. According to the Department of Health and Ageing’s annual report, these have been completed and their recommendations are informing improvements in information about the hospital services and costs associated with those services, and in particular improving information on trends in hospital utilisation. The 2009-10 Health Budget provides $39.6 million over 4 years to continue funding for the Hospital Information and Performance Information Program, now renamed the Hospital Accountability and Performance Program. The Budget papers acknowledge the increasing importance of this work in the Government’s commitment to develop comparable performance measures across the public and private sectors and to move to activity-based hospital funding. However these two reviews do not seem to be publicly available.
• A review of the Rural and Remote General Practice Program. This was conducted in 2005 and is thought to have informed recent changes announced in the Budget but has not been released.
• A Report on Incentives and the Australian Health Workforce – Completed by the Australian Health Workforce Institute in April 2009 but marked “not for public release”.
• Two reviews of the Rural, Remote and Metropolitian Areas (RRMA) classification system have been undertaken
The most recent one was done in conjunction with the review of “targeted rural health programs” that was behind various changes in the Budget, including the move from RRMA to the ABS’s Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) system. An earlier review of RRMA was apparently also undertaken some years ago, under Minister Abbott’s reign. So far as Croakey knows, neither review has been publicly released.
• The NSW Radiotherapy Plan 2006-2011
Our source says NSW Health has failed to release this document despite a number of requests (not to mention the fact that we are already three years into the period of the plan).
• Evaluation of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy – Final Report
Prepared for Department of Health and Ageing by Urbis Keys Young
The evaluation is dated April 2006.
(Please contact Croakey if you’d like a copy)
• Summative Evaluation of the National Mental Health Plan 2003-2008
The evaluation is by US consultant Charles Curie and English psychiatrist Professor Graham Thornicroft
(Please contact Croakey if you’d like a copy)
• A national evaluation of the Primary Health Care Research Evaluation & Development program
Our Croakey informant says: “This is a major Department of of Health and Ageing initiative that has substantially increased the national capacity for and actual implementation of PHC research. This has been through capacity building funding to departments of rural health and general practice, direct research grants, research fellowships and the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute. This is an important program. For example, some of the resultant work and key researchers involved in these activities have contributed directly to informing the current policy reform debate through the NHHRC & Preventative Health Taskforce.”
• Growing the evidence base for early intervention for young children with social, emotional and/or behavioural problems: systematic literature review
Commissioned by the Victorian Department of Human Services. Dated April 2008.
Authors: Melissa Wake, Harriet Hiscock, Jordana Bayer, Megan Mathers, Tim Moore, Frank Oberklaid
• The National E-Health Strategy, developed for AHMC/AHMAC, managed by the Department of Human Services in Victoria
Our informant says this has yet to be released although a brief summary was slipped out quietly on December 22, 2008.
Here’s what the DoHA website says about this strategy which, if it is such a “useful guide to the further development of E-Health in Australia”, and is to help the States and Territories and the public and private sectors “determine how they go about E-Health implementation…”, ought to be publicly available.
“The National E-Health Strategy developed by Deloitte, together with key stakeholders, provides a useful guide to the further development of E-Health in Australia. It adopts an incremental and staged approach to developing E-Health capabilities to:
• leverage what currently exists in the Australian E-Health landscape;
• manage the underlying variation in capacity across the health sector and States and Territories; and
• allow scope for change as lessons are learned and technology is developed further.
The Strategy reinforces the existing collaboration of Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments on the core foundations of a national E-Health system, and identifies priority areas where this can be progressively extended to support health reform in Australia. It also provides sufficient flexibility for individual States and Territories, and the public and private health sectors, to determine how they go about E-Health implementation within a common framework and set of priorities to maximise benefits and efficiencies.
• A review of the Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program
It was commissioned by DOHA back in 2004 but has never been made public despite a number of organisations asking for copies.
If you know of evaluations, reviews and other such documents that should be on the public record, please drop us a line.
Documents liberated from the CRUD:
• The Nutbeam review of public health research funding. Commissioned by the NHMRC in 2008, released (after some delays and much frustration on the part of Don Nutbeam and others) in June 2009
• Evaluation of the University Departments of Rural Health Program and the Rural Clinical Schools Program. Available here.