Health Minister Lawrence Springborg
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg Rae Wilson

Springborg hopes hospital 'improvements' create competition

THE efficiencies from pitting hospital districts against each other through detailed scorecards can be compared to the sporting field, Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says.

"Anyone that runs out on a football team have that competitive tension, they look at how the other team performs, particularly if they are performing better than them, and they change their game plan," he said.

"We're already seeing some of that with our hospital health boards.

"It's about innovation and how we drive innovation.

"That's the competitive way that business operates and government needs to operate."

Mr Springborg, speaking ahead of much-lauded health blueprint release on Wednesday, said he was already seeing "significant improvements" in regional areas but he hoped increasing data reporting hospitals from 33 to 57 would create even more competition.

"Very small block-funded hospitals, tiny hospitals, it's impossible for them to be in a reporting framework because of the nature of it," he said.

"But the larger rural and regional hospitals and the metropolitan hospitals will be reporting."

Mr Springborg said he learned at the Maryborough hospital on Monday that the time transitioning patients through sub acute care into aged care had reduced from 28 days to 15 days in recent months.

He said Toowoomba was now meeting its national emergency access targets, surgery would be reintroduced to Kingaroy and the Gold Coast was making great progress freeing up its ED.

"We're seeing some remarkable improvements," he said.

"We understand it's going to be challenging to fix everything in health but certainly in recent weeks and months we're seeing encouraging indicators around emergency department performances and also elective surgeries."

Mr Springborg said hospital acquired infections, relative efficiency and child and maternal healthcare figures would be among the enhanced performance criteria which would soon be available for comparison quarterly.

"Queenslanders will be able to compare and gauge the relative performance of their hospitals," he said.

"It will be easily digestible. They will know where the improvements are made and where the pressure needs to be for the improvements in the future."

Shadow Health Minister Jo-Ann Miller said the data sharing was the health minister being "clever with the truth" because her government was already providing much of that data.

"What he's actually doing is trying to hoodwink the people of Qld into thinking that this is something new," she said.



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