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Where are the missing health reports?

10 January 2012

The Baillieu Government failed to release a number of key reports on the performance of the Victorian health system in 2011, said AMA Victoria Vice President Dr Stephen Parnis today.

”The Government has failed to release the results of the last two Victorian Population Health Surveys from 2009 and 2010,” said Dr Parnis. “Given the Government’s commitment to make the health system more transparent this is disappointing.”

“The need to release the Population Health Surveys has been brought to the Governments attention for a number of months.

“The Population Health Survey is an invaluable tool for policy makers, city councils and doctors to determine the prevalence of diseases and their causes in the communities they serve.

“We are now working with population health data that is more than three years out of date. The older this data becomes the less useful it is for health professionals in providing care.

“It is also concerning that the Victorian Health Services Performance Report for the June quarter was not released separately and was instead rolled into the September quarterly report which was released just prior to Christmas.

“The move to quarterly reporting for public hospital performance is ineffectual if the reports are not released separately and promptly.”

The Victorian Health Services Performance Reports provide information about the performance of Victoria’s public hospitals including emergency department and elective surgery waiting times.

“AMA Victoria welcomed the Government’s election commitment to introduce a more transparent health system but the timely release of key health reports and publications is essential for improved performance and accountability within the health system,” said Dr Parnis.

“We need openness and transparency for the government, hospitals and the medical profession to work together to improve patient care. Failing to release reports and surveys on the state of the health system will only delay improvements.”

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