Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

6 September 2021

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Health

Transforming outpatient clinics to improve health outcomes

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to improving health outcomes, which is why we are establishing an Outpatient Transformation Program, including the development of a Statewide Outpatient Plan for Tasmania.

We are funding the start-up program with $2 million to complement the recently released elective surgery plan.

We have seen an increasing demand on outpatient services over the past 12 months. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the ability to deliver outpatient services, I acknowledge that there are opportunities to improve the systems, processes and tools that support the management of our outpatient clinics.

Like the elective surgery plan, the outpatient plan will provide a clear, focused roadmap for the delivery of sustainable outpatient services over the next four years. 

It will be co-designed in collaboration with clinicians, patients, and other key stakeholders and will include service improvements which will transform the way outpatient services are delivered to patients and clients in Tasmania. 

The transformation program will:

  • Implement a statewide extensive audit program to ensure waiting lists are up to date, patients contacted and current needs confirmed;
  • Implement consistent referral protocols and business rules;
  • Improve communications, online booking processes and electronic referrals for all services;
  • Implement clinical prioritisation criteria and reduce unnecessary or low value care;
  • Invest in targeted reforms to divert patients to the right care pathway, including non-surgical options; and
  • Consider the case for a Centralised Referral Intake Hub.

Delivering this program will modernise business processes used in our clinics, improve waiting times for patients needing outpatient services, improve patient engagement with the service and support the implementation of more contemporary models of care.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to delivering the right care, in the right place, at the right time for Tasmanians, and improving outpatient waitlists is a key part of that.

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