Release of NHPA Report into Avoidable Hospital Admissions

Gippsland Medicare Local (GML) today acknowledged the release of the latest report from the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA) into avoidable hospital admissions in 2011/12.

The report, released today, titled Selected potentially avoidable hospitalisations in 2011–12, revealed that for Medicare Local catchments in regional areas, the age-standardised rate of potentially avoidable hospitalisations for acute and vaccine-preventable conditions was twice as high in some Medicare Local catchments compared to others.

Commenting on the report for the Gippsland catchment, GML Board Chair, Dr Nola Maxfield, said that whilst Gippsland’s results were around the peer group average, “being considered average isn’t really good enough, so we have to work with the hospitals to assist them”.

“Gippsland does well in some areas and our results put us in the middle of the pack in relation to our Medicare Local peer groups in rural and regional Australia,” Dr Maxfield said.

“However those same results see many other peer groups performing much better and that is our challenge – to learn from these results about how and why we do well and where we need to improve.”

Dr Maxfield said there was a clear message for Gippsland Medicare Local in the report data.

“Despite the reduced numbers of doctors in rural areas – meaning people have trouble getting into see a GP when things going wrong – GML believes it is very important to share instructive data like this with our hospital/acute partners and our GPs,” Dr Maxfield said.

“Part of the role of Gippsland Medicare Local is examining the services that are needed locally and finding solutions to the health service needs of our local communities.

“We must use this information to focus on new initiatives such as our proposed subregional clinicians groups and developing the latest education programs aimed at GPs, practice nurses and allied health, so everyone is up to date and we can prioritise our work going forward,” Dr Maxfield concluded.

The full NHPA report can be accessed on the NHPA website at : www.nhpa.gov.au

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