18 December 2014

SDOHAN News and Information Shared - 18 December 2014

1. Launch of Green Paper – Delivering Safe and Sustainable Clinical Services

Message from the Minister for Health

Dear colleagues

Today I have released the Green Paper into the future of health services in Tasmania.

It’s an important step in our journey of making better care available for all.

As I move around the community I hear from patients, their families and carers about how much respect and admiration they have for the staff who work in our health system.

I also hear many ideas for making it better.

That’s why I announced reforms this year – One State, One Health System, Better Outcomes reforms.

I can provide a brief update on how other aspects of the reforms are progressing:

·                Creation of a single statewide Tasmanian Health Service by 1 July 2015 – preparations underway and on-track for commencement on time.

·                A new Health Council of Tasmania to provide expert clinical and consumer advice on health reform – Chaired by Denise Fassett, it was announced this week and has met for the first time.

·                Reform of the DHHS – to focus the insight and talents of its staff on managing the health system efficiently – underway.

The Green Paper I’ve released today describes the challenges facing our health system and starts the conversation about finding solutions.

Central to our reform plans is the development of a Clinical Services Profile that will describe where services can be located so that all Tasmanians have equal and fair access to better services.

We all want to have services located near where we live and, for many essential services; this is what we should strive for.

It’s important to recognise that we can’t always have complex, high-risk services in all locations.  It is not safe and it is not sustainable.

Our job is to make these hard decisions about how we balance this mix of regional and statewide services. 

I urge all Tasmanians with an interest in health service delivery to consider the details of the health Green Paper.

As you do so, please bear in mind the following:
The Green Paper isn’t about saving money; it’s about getting better health outcomes for all Tasmanians. No hospitals will close and every Tasmanian community will have access to better care. It’s about shifting the conversation from one about better access to care to one about access to better care.

The release of the Green Paper will be followed in the New Year by consultation, including with Tasmanian communities and with the health sector over the next two months.

More details of forums and meetings will be released in coming days.

Submissions will be considered before a final White Paper on health reform is released in March 2015, forming the basis of future action.

The Green Paper is located at www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/onehealthsystem

Thank you for your continuing work for the benefit of the Tasmanians we are here to serve.
Michael Ferguson
Minister for Health

For more information on the One State, One Health System, Better Outcomes reform package please email onehealthsystem@dhhs.tas.gov.au

2. Let’s have a conversation about the language of health - a conversation about health - where health starts - in our everyday lives

Health is influenced by lots of things & we want to find out what Tasmanians from all walks of life have to say about their health & its determinants. In 2015, the Social Determinants of Health Advocacy Network - Tasmania will oversee a project that will involve talking to people in the community about how they understand the language of social determinants of health (SDOH) - the language that they use and is meaningful to them.

“It is striking that anyone who uses the term “social determinants of health” is not likely to be someone who is at risk from them...We need a language we can all understand, and we need to hear from those who are first in the queue to be harmed.”  (Senior, T)

The project will help in unpacking a language we can all understand, which will assist us to better engage across the range of sectors and disciplines that are implicated in the SDOH. The project will present key learnings about the language of SDOH, which may contribute to enhanced community engagement and more empathetic practice. It will explore how community insights on SDOH can enhance advocacy efforts of civil society, as well as lobbyists working in the scientific space, to influence upstream policy change. Lastly, it will make recommendations about the language of SDOH, and compare findings to the work of others in this area.

We would like to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in the development of this project. If you have ideas to contribute as we plan for its implementation in 2015, please contact

3. Volunteer Telephone Crisis Support

Lifeline Tasmania is opening its 2015 intake for volunteers in the Hobart region wanting to become a Telephone Crisis Supporter on the 13 11 14 crisis line.

Successful applicants will undertake extensive training, make a commitment to shifts and meet further selection criteria. This is to ensure volunteers are confident, skilled and able to provide support to Lifeline’s Callers in their time of emotional distress and crisis. If you’re interested, this type of volunteering will be very rewarding.

For further information please visit www.lifeline.org.au/Tasmania or call (03) 6282 1500 during business hours.


4. Some holiday reading....

- Rehospitalization Rates Highest for Poorest Neighborhoods (shared by N.J. Davy Paramedic, Ambulance Tasmania - NW Region)

- Socks are not enough: Social justice lies upstream from charity

Doctors at St. Mike's launch project to address root causes of poor health

- The wealth gap

My Doctor Makes Me Sick

- Inequality hurts economic growth, finds OECD research

In this guest post, Ronald Labonté traces the history of neoliberalism through structural adjustment programs, the Great Recession and into current Austerity Agendas. Labont é examines why neoliberalism continues to dominate economic agendas and what types of policy messages are needed to combat the resulting health plagues. This post is cross-posted at Global Health Watch in support of the latest alternative world health report. Labonté holds a Canada Research Chair in Globalization and Health Equity at the Institute of Population Health, and is Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa; and in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Flinders University of South Australia.  


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