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Department for  
Health and Ageing

Annual Report

2015-16



page b Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

DRA
FT  

Vers
ion

Publisher: Adelaide: SA Department for Health and Ageing, 2016
ISSN 2201-0475
Subjects: SA Health
Other Authors/Contributors: South Australia. Department for Health and Ageing



DRA
FT  

Vers
ion

Hon. Jack Snelling M.P. 
Minister for Health

Hon. Leesa Vlahos M.P. 
Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Hon. Zoe Bettison M.P. 
Minister for Ageing

Dear Ministers

In accordance with the Public Sector Act 2009 and the Public Finance and Audit Act 1987, I am pleased to submit the 
annual report and financial statements of the South Australian Department for Health and Ageing for presentation to 
Parliament.

This report provides an accurate account of the operations of the Department for Health and Ageing for the financial 
year ending 30 June 2016, in compliance with the Department of the Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 - Annual 
Reporting Requirements 2015-16.

Vickie Kaminski

Interim Chief Executive 
30 September 2016

Department for Health and Ageing 
Annual Report 2015-16

  Government of South Australia, 30 September 2016 
ABN 97643356590

ISSN 2201-0475

This annual report was prepared by  
Policy and Governance, Finance and Corporate Services 
Department for Health and Ageing

The annual report can be accessed at the  
Department for Health and Ageing 
Internet site www.sahealth.sa.gov.au

Department for Health and Ageing 
11 Hindmarsh Square 
Adelaide, South Australia 5000 
Telephone: (08) 8226 0795 
Facsimile: (08) 8226 0720




Year in Review - Highlights from the  

Interim Chief Executive 4

Governance  6

Objectives 6

Role 6

Organisational Structure 6

SA Health Structure as at 30 June 2016 7

Administrative and Legislative Responsibilities 8

Strategic Direction 9

Department for Health and Ageing Strategic 

Direction 2016-18 9

Transforming Health 9

eHealth Systems 11

Premier of South Australia s Vision and Priorities  12

Premier s Economic Priorities 12

Premier s Strategic Priorities  13

Portfolio Deliverables  14

Legislative Reviews 15

National Health Reform 16

Health Care Delivery 17

Hospital Care 17

Primary Health Care 23

Safety and Quality 24

Consumer Feedback 25

Public Health 26

Public and Environmental Health Protection 27

Communicable Diseases 28

Aboriginal Health 30

Mental Health Care  31

Drug and Alcohol Services  33

PART 2 STATUTORY AND OTHER  

MANDATORY REPORTING 36

Health Workforce  37

Workforce Reform 37

Staff Engagement Survey 37

White Ribbon 37

Leadership and Management Development 37

Human Resource Information  39

Employment Arrangements as at  

30 June 2016 39

Work Health and Safety and  

Injury Management 41

Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 43

Fraud  43

Carers Recognition Act 2005 44

Disability Access and Inclusion Plans   44

Sustainability Reporting 45

Urban Design Charter 46

Regional Impact Assessments 46

Financial Performance 47

Use of Consultants 47

Contractual Arrangements 49

Employee Overseas Travel 49

Independent Auditor s Report 50

Certification of the Financial Statements 50

Appendix 1   Legislation Committed to  

Health Ministers as at 30 June 2016 162

Minister for Health  162

Minister for Mental Health and  

Substance Abuse 162

Minister for Ageing 162

Contents



Appendix 2   Hospitals 163

Appendix 3   Boards and Committees as at  

30 June 2016 164

Responsible to the Minister for Health  164

Minister for Mental Health and  

Substance Abuse 166

Acronyms and Glossary of Terms 167

Acronyms 167

Index  169



page 4 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Year in Review - Highlights from the  
Interim Chief Executive
In 2015-16 the Department for Health and Ageing (the department) continued to protect and improve the 
health of South Australians by providing leadership in reforming our health system, public health services, 
health and medical research, policy development and planning.

To manage growth and increasing demand on our health system, and to enable us to provide our patients 
with the best possible care, we started reconfiguring services as part of our Transforming Health reforms.  

Hundreds of millions of dollars were invested to enable this transformation to happen, including a 
significant investment in infrastructure. Works commenced at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC), Modbury 
Hospital, Noarlunga Hospital, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH) and Lyell McEwin Hospital (LMH). 

We began to realise real gains resulting from a realignment of services across the Northern Adelaide Local 
Health Network, forming the first practical steps of Transforming Health. The moves ensure northern and 
north-eastern residents are treated faster and closer to where they live. The LMH was redeveloped into the 
major adult hospital for Adelaide s north and north-eastern suburbs, supported by the Modbury Hospital, 
which is now the elective surgery centre for the north and north-east.

These changes have already led to significant improvements for patients across the region, including 
notable improvements to wait times for emergency hip fracture surgery at LMH - from up to 150 hours 
last year, to an average of less than 15 hours now - and 75 per cent more patients in the north receiving 
orthopaedic surgery closer to home compared to the same period last year.

More broadly SA Health data showed that South Australians spent around seven hours less in metropolitan 
hospitals on average during 2015, despite hospitals treating thousands more patients.

The early results are promising, but this is only the beginning and many more important changes will 
happen in 2016-17.  

We continued to transform how we deal with patient information, by providing our health care 
professionals with real time access to comprehensive patient information at the point of care.

The Enterprise Patient Administration System (EPAS) is an integral part of the future of our health system, 
and continues to contribute to improved quality of care and patient safety. In the past year, and following 
the activation of EPAS at seven SA Health sites, we reassessed our strategy on how we best roll out to the 
remaining sites. We considered an independent review, and closely consulted with our clinicians, before 
deciding to implement EPAS at TQEH, and then directly to the new Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH). EPAS 
went live at TQEH on 29 June, and I m pleased to say that the transition has gone extremely smoothly. It is 
now being readied for rollout in the new RAH.  

The centrepiece of our health system will be the new RAH, which, upon completion, will provide significant 
benefits for patients and staff. The transition from the existing RAH to the new RAH is a highly complex 
and intricate process, and in 2015-16 critical preparatory work continued across clinical and non-clinical 
services to ensure the wellbeing of patients during the move and beyond.

The Repatriation General Hospital site will continue to service South Australian Veterans and the 
community for years to come. In 2015-16 it was announced that the Returned and Services League (RSL) 
consortium was successful in their submission to redevelop the site into a Veteran s and community centre. 
Subsequent to this in October 2016, the ACH Group s Open Daws submission was selected as the preferred 
proponent for the future use of the site following the withdrawal of the RSL consortium. RSL SA will 
continue to work with the ACH Group to ensure Open Daws has a strong Veterans presence.

In November 2015, the Premier of South Australia and the Minister for Health opened the $29.3 million 
redeveloped Mount Gambier District Health Services, which is now delivering a comprehensive range of 
quality health services for the south-east community. 



page 5Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Construction of a new $12 million SA Ambulance Service Rescue, Retrieval and Aviation base at Adelaide 
Airport began in December 2015, which when completed, will ensure quicker response times to people 
who are critically ill or injured.

A new $3.6 million SA Ambulance Service station in Oakden was opened on 19 June 2016. The new station 
functions 24/7 improving ambulance services in the expanding north-eastern community.      

I m proud to say that in June 2016, the department was successfully accredited as a  White Ribbon 
Workplace , having demonstrated a genuine commitment to gender equality, effective leadership, 
communication and training to create a safer and more respectful workplace. The department is now 
recognised as a pioneer in contributing to national cultural change to prevent and respond to violence 
against women.  

In preparation for the retirement of Ms Jenny Richter and Mr Steve Archer in 2016-17, the department 
welcomed Mr Len Richards and Mr Don Frater as the incoming Deputy Chief Executives for the System 
Performance and Service Delivery division and the Finance and Corporate Services division respectively. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jenny and Steve for their significant contribution to health 
and the public sector, and wish them well for the future.

I would also like to thank Mr David Swan for his exemplary service to health over the last 25 years, 
including the past five and a half years as Chief Executive. David was instrumental in helping to shape and 
implement the government s extensive health reform agenda, including Transforming Health, the new RAH 
and the rollout of EPAS.  

I had the privilege of working alongside David over the past six months and witnessed firsthand his 
extensive knowledge of the health system and his hard work and dedication to improving the health of all 
South Australians. 

Finally, I thank all SA Health staff because no matter what their role is, without their hard work and 
dedication, we cannot successfully implement the reforms we need to ensure the best health outcomes for 
all South Australians.

 

Vickie Kaminski

Interim Chief Executive



page 6 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Governance 

Objectives
SA Health s key objective is to lead and deliver a comprehensive and sustainable health system that ensures healthier, 
longer and better lives for all South Australians. The department is committed to delivering a health system that 
produces positive health outcomes by focusing on health promotion, illness prevention and early intervention.

Role
The department assists the Minister for Health, the Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse and the 
Minister for Ageing to set the policy framework and strategic directions for SA Health. The department supports the 
delivery of public health services, formulates health and ageing policy and programs, facilitates public and consumer 
consultation on health issues, and monitors the performance of South Australia s health system by providing timely 
advice, research and administrative support.

It also has an interface role with central agencies and a policy and regulatory role. The department s public health role 
includes direct service provision, developing statewide plans, and commissioning services from Local Health Networks 
(LHNs), SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) and other providers.

Organisational Structure
During 2015-16, a number of reviews were undertaken including an overall review of the department (completed  
21 July 2015), a Corporate Finance review (completed 9 November 2015) and an eHealth Systems review (completed 
7 June 2016). The objectives of these reviews, and subsequent structural changes, were to: 

 &gt; Free up resources. 

 &gt; Support LHNs in the implementation of Transforming Health and other reforms. 

 &gt; Refocus the department and ensure greater efficiency and effectiveness by reducing duplication  
and streamlining services.

As at 30 June 2016, there were three divisions within the department: 

 &gt; Finance and Corporate Services. 

 &gt; System Performance and Service Delivery. 

 &gt; Transforming Health.

SA Health is the brand name for the health portfolio of services and agencies responsible to the Minister for Health, 
the Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse and the Minister for Ageing. SA Health is the corporate identity 
for the portfolio only and not the legal entity.

The legal entities as at 30 June 2016 include: the Minister for Health; Minister for Mental Health and Substance 
Abuse; Minister for Ageing; Central Adelaide Local Health Network Incorporated; Northern Adelaide Local 
Health Network Incorporated; Southern Adelaide Local Health Network Incorporated; Women s and Children s 
Health Network Incorporated; Country Health SA Local Health Network Incorporated and SA Ambulance Service 
Incorporated.



page 7Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

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page 8 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Administrative and Legislative Responsibilities
The department has administrative responsibility for ensuring that the governance responsibilities of the Minister for 
Health; Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse; Minister for Ageing; SAAS and the incorporated hospitals 
across the state are appropriately discharged. The Health Care Act 2008 (HC Act) provides for the administration 
of hospitals and other health services, and establishes the Health Performance Council and Health Advisory 
Councils (HACs). The department supports the councils with the discharge of their governance and administrative 
responsibilities.

Through the Office for the Ageing (OFTA), the department also has responsibility for administering the Office for the 
Ageing Act 1995, the Retirement Villages Act 1987 and the Retirement Villages Regulations 2006. Information about 
OFTA initiatives and specific program areas is available in the OFTA Annual Report.

The department also has responsibility for the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 (PH Act), which establishes 
the South Australian Public Health Council and other public health legislation. The department ensures that those 
responsible for legislation committed to Ministers or relevant to the public health system are appropriately advised 
about the discharge of their duties. 

Appendix 1 provides a full list of legislation committed to the Minister for Health, the Minister for Mental Health and 
Substance Abuse and the Minister for Ageing as at 30 June 2016.

Appendix 2 lists the incorporated hospitals under the HC Act. These entities have responsibility for presenting their 
own annual reports to the Minister for Health for tabling in Parliament.

Appendix 3 provides a list of boards and committees responsible to the Minister for Health, the Minister for Mental 
Health and Substance Abuse and the Minister for Ageing, including HACs established under the HC Act.



page 9Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Strategic Direction

Department for Health and Ageing Strategic Direction 2016-18
During 2015-16, the new three year Strategic Direction was developed, bringing together the key elements of the 
reform agenda and outlining the steps required to ensure South Australians have access to safe, effective care.

The Strategic Direction 2016-18 encapsulates the broad priorities of SA Health and defines the role and remit of the 
department in relation to the broader work of SA Health. It was developed with input from a broad cross section of 
executives and staff across the department and will guide business and strategic planning across SA Health.

Transforming Health
SA Health continued its whole-of-system transformation to provide quality care, effectiveness and adaptability that 
South Australians expect and deserve in their health care, ensuring we have a sustainable, world class health system 
now and into the future.

Transformation of this magnitude is required to achieve our mandate for best quality and safe services. Transformation 
will impact every part of our health system, including:

 &gt; Hospital reconfiguration and profiles.

 &gt; Every aspect of service delivery including models of care and workforce delivery.

 &gt; Extensive upgrades and new building infrastructure.

 &gt; Statewide services operations.

 &gt; The commissioning of services.

 &gt; Evidence via clinical data which will support continual improvement.

 &gt; Development of clinical, operational and administrative policy.

 &gt; Governance and accountability for collective and individual performance.

 &gt; Fostering a positive culture through a significant period of change within our workforce.

2015-16 was a year of achievements for Transforming Health, building on the strong policy framework put in place in 
2014-15. New models of care were introduced to improve quality and consistency in patient care across the system.

Modbury Hospital was established as an elective surgery and rehabilitation centre for the north and north-eastern 
area, and the LMH was redeveloped into a major adult hospital including a comprehensive 24/7 orthopedic trauma 
surgery service. Patients have already experienced significant improvements, including notable improvements to wait 
times for emergency hip fracture surgery and more patients in the north receiving orthopedic surgery closer to home.   

A purpose-built renal dialysis unit at Noarlunga Hospital was commissioned, and an expanded one-stop breast cancer 
service at Modbury Hospital was established to give women access to a breast surgeon, radiologist and breast care 
nurse in the one location.   

Significant Transforming Health capital works program commenced, including:

 &gt; New multi-deck carpark at FMC.

 &gt; New ambulance station at Noarlunga.

 &gt; New day surgery unit and two new operating theatres including respective recovery areas at Noarlunga Hospital.

 &gt; Rehabilitation building at Modbury Hospital.



page 10 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Extensive planning and preparation to relocate activity from Central Adelaide LHN to Northern Adelaide LHN was 
undertaken to ensure northern residents access health services closer to where they live.

Concept plans for the new $15 million (m) Veterans mental health facility at Glenside Health Service Campus were 
finalised. The new purpose built Veterans facility will incorporate an acute inpatient unit, outpatient services, specialist 
services for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and teaching and research spaces.

The RSL Repat Park was selected as the successful proposal for the future use of the Repatriation General Hospital 
however following the withdrawal of the RSL consortium, the ACH Group s Open Daws submission was selected  
for the future use of the RGH site. The Open Daws submission has a strong community focus providing health and 
aged care services; rehabilitation services; facilities for education and training, and residential accommodation for 
differing community groups. RSL SA will continue to work with the ACH Group to ensure Open Daws has a strong 
Veterans presence.

SA Health continues to closely engage clinicians, other staff and partners in the Transforming Health program, 
through a variety of forums including the Ministerial Clinical Advisory Group, Peak Consumer and Community 
Engagement forum (via Health Consumers Alliance), expert working groups to develop models of care, service 
transfers project teams, infrastructure projects and Peak Union Forum.

Workforce Trends 

The department continues to develop and implement resources to support our workforce throughout the 
implementation of Transforming Health including:

 &gt; Supporting Our People Through Transition guideline for Managers.  

 &gt; Leading Health Transformation leadership program to be delivered by KPMG over the next two years to support 
current and future leaders.

 &gt; Programs to develop staff resilience and wellbeing through sustained change.

 &gt; Workforce strategy development and workforce planning and profiling.

 &gt; A Managers Guide to Transformation and Change.

Staff engagement surveys were conducted throughout all LHNs, SAAS and the department in 2015-16.  Building on 
the responses provided, action plans are being developed in consultation with staff across all areas of SA Health.

New Royal Adelaide Hospital

Construction of the new RAH progressed to the final stages in 2015-16 as the focus of the project shifted towards 
commissioning and testing.

At the peak of construction, more than 2500 workers were on-site each day, completing final fit-out work before 
moving onto commissioning, a particularly complex task given the size of the building. By the start of 2016, the 
remaining construction work focused on painting, electrical work and testing the building s safety and information 
technology systems.

Major medical equipment was progressively installed by the project team and vendors, with many areas ready for staff 
training.

Consultation occurred with staff and stakeholders on new models of care and work practice changes, and a range 
of detailed training plans developed. More than 2500 staff attended the new RAH Skills Centre to undertake 
familiarisation and training on a wide range of equipment and information and communication technology (ICT) 
systems.

Central Adelaide LHN staff began preparations for the move to the new RAH by planning the logistics of the 
relocation, decluttering the existing hospital and identifying and scheduling training. 

Patient audits were conducted to establish the types of patients likely to be moved and what equipment and staffing 
is required. Mock moves to test the patient journey were undertaken with the assistance of SAAS staff and MedSTAR.



page 11Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

eHealth Systems
Investments in technology ensure SA Health is a leader in providing services with faster and more coordinated access, 
enabling improved outcomes for patients. During 2015-16, a number of major ICT projects continued to progress and 
be implemented.

Enterprise Patient Administration System

EPAS is one of the largest South Australian health care reform projects ever undertaken in scale and impact. The EPAS 
solution will transform the SA Health model of care, by providing health care professionals with real time access to 
comprehensive patient information at the point of care. 

Given the scale and complexity of the EPAS rollout program, and the degree of required business change, events have 
occurred since planning commenced in early 2011 that have impacted on the EPAS rollout.

Following the stabilisation phase in 2014-15, it was decided that the TQEH would be the eighth location and the first 
major hospital site to implement the EPAS solution. On 29 June 2016, EPAS was successfully rolled out at TQEH and 
EPAS is now being prepared for a phased implementation directly into the new RAH.

Enterprise System for Medical Imaging

The rollout of the Enterprise System for Medical Imaging (ESMI) is ensuring imaging results are available anywhere at 
any time, and that clinicians and patients get their results faster.

In 2015-16, ESMI was successfully implemented across eight health sites, including the Women s and Children s 
Hospital (WCH), TQEH, the LMH, the RAH and FMC. 

ESMI will be transitioned from the current RAH to the new RAH when the new hospital opens.  

Enterprise Pathology Laboratory Information System

Preparation of the Enterprise Pathology Laboratory Information System progressed well and will modernise the 
laboratory ICT environment enabling business transformation in the delivery of pathology services. Deployment to the 
first laboratory is expected in late 2016.

Patient Assistance Transport Scheme

A new system to support the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme for Country Health SA was finalised and 
implemented during 2015-16. This scheme subsidises travel and accommodation costs for rural and remote South 
Australians travelling to see a specialist in Adelaide.



page 12 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Premier of South Australia s Vision and Priorities 
The department s work is intrinsically linked with the State Government s strategic and economic priorities, where 
strong partnerships between business, government and communities are integral to opening the door to new ideas.

Premier s Economic Priorities
SA Health contributes to four of the ten economic priorities:

A global leader in health research and ageing

SA Health is integral to the development of the South Australian Health and Biomedical Precinct, which will be one of 
the world s best health and biomedical precincts with an integrated campus that will support innovation in research, 
creation of new health industries for South Australia, the translation of research into clinical practice and support 
Health Industries SA to attract investment to this state. The precinct will be completed by December 2016.  

A Precinct Strategy Group has been formed with representatives from the three universities, the South Australian Health 
and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), Health Industries SA, SA Health and other government agencies involved 
with the precinct. The group will maximise the state s investment in the precinct and enable the precinct to become the 
flagship for South Australia as leading Australia in a range of services, such as cancer, cardiac and neurosurgery.

OFTA leads the social and economic engagement of our ageing population through the State Ageing Plan. OFTA is 
partnering with other government agencies, business, non-government organisations and the universities to maximise 
opportunities for seniors to engage in emerging opportunities for lifelong learning, social and economic participation.

Through the Mature Economy Jobs and Business Strategy, OFTA is developing a plan that sets a clear direction for 
how South Australia can leverage the economic opportunities of an older population.

The knowledge state   attracting students and commercialising our research

In August 2015, a clinical trials workshop was held with 90 attendees from across SA Health, universities,  
Health Industries SA and SAHMRI.  

An action plan has been developed from this workshop that will further streamline clinical trials, making South 
Australia a more attractive and competitive place to undertake clinical trials, with an aim to increase the number of 
trials conducted across the South Australian public hospital sector.

Discussions are also occurring with Bellberry, a local South Australian company, to support ethics approvals for clinical 
trials and other health related research which will further enhance South Australia s position to attract clinical trials to 
the state.

Premium food and wine exported to the world

SA Health continues to ensure a safe and secure food supply and consumer confidence in food regulation by working 
collaboratively with Primary Industries and Regions SA on food safety.  

Growth through innovation

SA Health supports the initiatives to develop the economy within northern suburbs. The LMH is currently going 
through an expansion with the completion of its recent capital program and current service profile as part of the 
Transforming Health program.

To support the expansion and manage more complex patients that are historically transferred to the RAH, SA Health will 
be repatriating northern residents back to the LMH. This includes elective and emergency activity, and the associated 
staffing to support these changes. This will enable the northern community to receive more care closer to home.



page 13Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Premier s Strategic Priorities 
In the past year, SA Health made a significant contribution towards five out of the seven strategic priorities.

Every Chance for Every Child

Strengthening Links Program

Strengthening Links is a nine month antenatal program for vulnerable women and their unborn infants that 
recognises the fetal environment as crucial to lifetime health. The aim is to reduce the risk of harm to infants and their 
mothers on the understanding that good antenatal care of the mother promotes good fetal development and helps 
her prepare for life with the infant.

In 2015-16 there were 206 women involved in the program that gave birth.

Child Protection Services

The Women s and Children s Health Network (WCHN) Child Protection Services (CPS) plays a key role in the protection 
of children, by providing a forensic assessment service to the APY Lands for children under 12 years of age where 
there are concerns about abuse and/or neglect. CPS works closely with Families SA and SAPOL alongside the WCHN 
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in offering a fly-in fly-out service every two weeks.

In 2015-16, the WCHN CPS undertook 69 APY Lands and forensic assessments. Successful prosecutions were made as 
a result of interventions provided through this service. Recommendations from an audit of the service conducted the 
previous year were implemented and improvements made accordingly.

Out-of-Home Care clinics also operated within Southern Adelaide LHN, Northern Adelaide LHN and WCHN during 
2015-16 and provide comprehensive health assessments for children under the Guardianship of the Minister who 
have been placed in out-of-home care.

The WCHN CPS provided 74 comprehensive health assessments and 79 comprehensive health assessment reviews. 
Staffing increased to meet the service demands, which continues to be reviewed.

Aboriginal Family Birthing Program

The WCHN is implementing a revised model of its Aboriginal Family Birthing Program which is an enhanced program 
of maternal care that provides pregnant Aboriginal women with culturally safe and competent services. The program 
combines specialist Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Care workers, midwives and specialists in an effort to improve 
health outcomes for Aboriginal women and their babies.

WCHN continues its active involvement with the Aboriginal Families Study. The study is currently being conducted by 
researchers from the Healthy Mothers Healthy Families Research Group at the Murdoch Children s Research Institute 
and the University of Adelaide, in partnership with the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia. Results indicate 
that Aboriginal Family Birthing Programs are having a positive impact on health outcomes.

During 2015-16, enhancement of current programs across SA Health and the development of models of integrated 
care for Aboriginal women and their families was undertaken. An evaluation of the revised program will be 
undertaken during 2016-17.

Safe Communities Healthy Neighbourhoods

Strategy to Safeguard the Rights of Older South Australians

Following the June 2015 release of the Strategy to Safeguard the Rights of Older South Australians Action Plan 2015-21 
by the Minister for Ageing, OFTA implemented a suite of initiatives including the Stop Elder Abuse community awareness 
campaign and dedicated website of tools and resources. This included the first South Australian Elder Abuse Prevention 
Phone Line, and the community publication Knowing Your Rights   A Guide to the Rights of Older South Australians.

Planning Ahead Week

In September 2015, Planning Ahead Week focused on the benefits of early planning, the various legal tools (Advance 
Care Directives, Enduring Power of Attorney, wills and registration for organ/body donation), and the accessibility of 
these tools to older South Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 



page 14 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Public Health Partnership

The actions under the department s Public Health Partner Authority agreement with the Department of Planning, 
Transport and Infrastructure continue to support the implementation of the state s planning reform package. This 
agreement focusses on exploring the need to strengthen quality public open space as the movement to densify 
Adelaide progresses. The provision of quality public open and green space is a critical lever for enhancing health and 
wellbeing benefits.

Creating a Vibrant City

OFTA implemented various initiatives during 2015-16 including the #CelebrateAge event in partnership with Active 
Ageing Australia, and the  Encouraging Participation  project. These initiatives contributed to South Australia s art 
and culture through partnering with Festivals Adelaide to improve access, engagement and participation of older 
audiences and artists across 10 festivals.

Healthy Parks Healthy People SA 

The department and the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources partnered to establish the Healthy 
Parks Healthy People SA initiative, which promotes the physical, social and mental health benefits of visiting the state s 
parks and botanic gardens. A five-year framework will be collaboratively implemented over 2016-21.

Premium Food and Wine from Our Clean Environment 

In 2015-16, the department finalised the new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of 
Primary Industries and Regions SA. The MOU is a valuable tool used by the two agencies to improve existing 
regulatory arrangements for food safety in South Australia. The department also commenced discussions with the 
Dairy Authority of South Australia to review and update an MOU that clarifies the roles and responsibilities for 
regulating businesses that process dairy products.

An Affordable Place to Live

South Australia s Age-friendly Retail Project was implemented along with other OFTA initiatives including the South 
Australian Seniors Card program and the Retirement Village Residents Advocacy Service. 

Public Health Partnership

In 2015-16, the department collaborated with the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion to better 
understand and improve food security in South Australia, in order to ensure access to sufficient, affordable and 
nutritious food for all South Australians.   

Thriving Communities

To support the Thriving Communities initiative, the department collaborated with the Department for Communities 
and Social Inclusion and Torrens University to develop the Atlas of South Australian Communities. The atlas maps the 
factors that influence community wellbeing and aims to guide policymakers about where action needs to be taken to 
reduce disadvantage.

Portfolio Deliverables 
During 2015-16, the department prepared regular progress reports against portfolio deliverables contained in the 
Premier of South Australia s 2014 state election ministerial charter letter and Governor s Speech to Parliament in 
February 2015.

There are 30 portfolio deliverables identified for the Health and Mental Health and Substance Abuse portfolios. 
Eighteen deliverables have been completed with a further ten in progress. There is one deliverable requiring an 
adjustment of scope, and one which requires further work to reach achievement.

The status of these portfolio deliverables is available on the Premier s website at  
http://www.premier.sa.gov.au/index.php/sa-priorities/delivering-for-sa

There are an additional four deliverables for the Ageing portfolio which have been completed. 




page 15Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Legislative Reviews

Health Care Act 2008
On 10 September 2015, the South Australian Parliament passed the Health Care (Administration) Amendment Bill 
2015. The Health Care (Administration) Amendment Bill 2015 made a series of amendments to the HC Act to:

 &gt; Allow the Minister for Health to set fees for incidental services to be charged by SAAS for services that do not 
involve transportation in an ambulance. 

 &gt; Provide a mechanism for the employment of medical practitioners, nurses and midwives in the department 
( Central Office ) under their professional awards.

 &gt; Allow for the dissolution of three non-operational incorporated associations and the formal transfer of their assets 
to the appropriate HAC.

 &gt; Make other minor amendments to improve the functioning of the HC Act and to clarify the intent of certain 
provisions.

Public Intoxication (Review Recommendations) Amendment Bill 2016
On 21 September 2015, the South Australian Government released its response to the Review of the Public 
Intoxication Act 1984 which included a commitment to make legislative change.

The Bill provides for key amendments to the Public Intoxication Act 1984 including: 

 &gt; Providing an expanded definition of a drug.

 &gt; Adopting a definition of  public place  similar to the Summary Offences Act 1953.

 &gt; Extending the maximum period of detention by police to 12 hours but retaining the 18 hour maximum period of 
detention for declared sobering-up centres.

On 23 February 2016, the draft Bill was released for consultation with key stakeholders, non-government 
organisations that operate sobering up units and peak Aboriginal health representatives. All submissions were 
supportive of the Bill which was introduced in the House of Assembly on 23 June 2016.

Mental Health (Review) Amendment Bill 2016
The Mental Health (Review) Amendment Bill 2016 was developed and introduced in the House of Assembly  
in 2015-16. The Bill was passed by both houses of Parliament and assented on 14 July 2016.

The Bill allows for amendments to the Mental Health Act 2009 which will:

 &gt; Improve the rights of people with mental illness.

 &gt; Enhance the capacity of mental health services to provide treatment and care.

 &gt; Enhance the capacity of government agencies to collaborate.

 &gt; Provide clarity for matters that are currently ambiguous.

 &gt; Remove provisions that are stigmatising or discriminatory. 

Legislated Review of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988
In 2015-16, SA Health commenced the legislated review of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988 (ART Act). 
An independent consultant was engaged to undertake the review in December 2015. 

The purpose of the review is to assess and improve the operation and effectiveness of changes made to the ART 
Act in 2010. The independent consultant completed the consultation process for the review in April 2016 after 
submissions and discussions with a wide range of interested parties including consumers, people born as a result 
of ART, ART providers, industry professionals, academics, research organisations, and professional, advisory and 
advocacy bodies. The department will continue to support and contribute to this review, the findings of which will be 
delivered in 2016-17.



page 16 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

National Health Reform
During 2015-16, SA Health continued to contribute to national discussions on roles and responsibilities in health and 
made a number of submissions to a range of Commonwealth driven national health reviews. 

The April 2016 Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting marked a change in the negotiation of  
national Commonwealth-State funding arrangements for health. At the meeting, First Ministers signed a Heads of 
Agreement on Public Hospital Funding under which the Commonwealth will provide an estimated additional  
$2.9 billion nationally in funding for public hospital services, subject to an annual cap in funding growth of 6.5 per 
cent per annum. The agreement preserves existing Activity Based Funding arrangements and all jurisdictions have 
agreed to take action to reduce demand for hospital services through better coordinated care for people with complex 
and chronic disease, improve the quality of care in hospitals and reduce the number of avoidable admissions.

Under the agreement, all jurisdictions have undertaken to negotiate a time-limited addendum of the National Health 
Reform Agreement in the form of an additional schedule for a three year period commencing 1 July 2017. The 
addendum will amend aspects of the National Health Reform Agreement to remove clauses that are no longer in 
operation and include new provisions consistent with the outcomes of the COAG meeting. 

SA Health is continuing to work closely with the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions in negotiating the terms of 
the addendum which will include agreement nationally about:

 &gt; The most appropriate method for distributing the national funding pool should the 6.5 per cent annual growth cap  
be reached.

 &gt; Incorporating pricing for safety and quality into national funding mechanisms.

 &gt; Undertaking coordinated care trials for people with complex and chronic conditions (with a view to national roll out 
at some point in the future).

It is anticipated that SA Health will continue to be involved in the development of a longer term public hospital 
funding agreement before the expiry of the addendum on 30 June 2020.

National Partnership Agreements
In 2015-16, South Australia received approximately $45.1m in Commonwealth Government funding under National 
Partnership Agreements (NPA) and Projects Agreements for a variety of health related programs and services. Progress 
continued across a range of NPAs in South Australia including:

 &gt; Completion of the $10m upgrade of the South Coast Primary Health Care Precinct at Victor Harbor.

 &gt; Successful negotiation of the one year NPA on Adult Public Dental Services.

 &gt; Further progress made into re-negotiating COAG agreements on Bowel Cancer and Essential Vaccines.

The 2016-17 Federal Budget confirmed the following extensions to a number of important COAG Agreements, 
including: 

 &gt; OzFoodNet   an additional $0.2m annually for four years.

 &gt; Rheumatic Fever Strategy   an additional $0.4m annually for one year.

 &gt; Vaccine Preventable Diseases Surveillance Program   an additional $0.1m annually for three years (2017-18 to 
2019-20).

It also confirmed the Commonwealth s intention to provide $1.7 billion nationally over four years from 2016-17 to 
fund a new Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme under a NPA.

Despite attempts to negotiate ongoing funding with the Commonwealth, the 2016-17 Federal Budget provided no 
further funding for a range of important South Australian mental health services funded under two NPAs. As such, 
Commonwealth funding for these services ceased on 30 June 2016.



page 17Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Health Care Delivery

Hospital Care

Hospital Inpatient Services 

South Australian public hospitals treated over 437 400 inpatients in 2015-16, representing a 3.6 per cent growth in 
activity across all South Australian hospitals compared to 2014-15 (Figure 1).

Separations in metropolitan hospitals which increased by 4.4 per cent compared to 2014-15, account for 75 per cent 
of total activity. Hospital separations generally increase from year to year, driven by population increases, population 
ageing and advances in medical technology.

Figure 1   Separations from public hospitals

0

50 000

100 000

150 000

200 000

250 000

300 000

350 000

400 000

450 000

500 000

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 

Se
p

ar
at

io
n

s 

Financial Year 

Country hospitals Metro hospitals 

Source: Health Information Portal (Admitted activity).

Annual growth in hospital separations is 2.0 per cent higher in 2015-16 than 2014-15 due to a higher volume of 
short stay admissions for specific clinical conditions (Figure 2).

Whilst annual growth increased by 1.6 per cent in 2014-15, it remains below the national average of 4.6 per cent 
in that year (latest national data published). South Australia continues to implement a number of hospital avoidance 
strategies to curb increases in separations, especially for metropolitan hospitals. Strategies include targeting areas 
of high utilisation and improving referral practices, service redesign and consolidation, implementation of statewide 
models of care for particular specialties, and implementation of ambulatory models of care to enable patients to be 
treated in their own home or local community.

Figure 2   Annual growth in hospital separations

0% 

1% 

2% 

3% 

4% 

5% 

6% 

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 

Pe
r 

ce
n

t 
g

ro
w

th
 

Financial Year 

% Change - SA metro hospitals % Change - all SA hospitals % Change - national 

Source: Health Information Portal (Admitted activity).



page 18 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

A key area of focus has been to ensure that appropriate clinical procedures and interventions are admitted and 
discharged on the same day, avoiding unnecessary multi-day admission. The same day rate for South Australian public 
hospitals has increased from 43 per cent in 2007-8 to 48 per cent in 2015-16. There were 10 621 more same day 
separations in 2015-16 compared to 2014-15 (Figure 3).

Figure 3   Same day rate for metropolitan and country hospitals

40% 

41% 

42% 

43% 

44% 

45% 

46% 

47% 

48% 

49% 

0

50 000 

100 000 

150 000 

200 000 

250 000 

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 

Sa
m

e 
D

ay
 R

at
e

Sa
m

e 
D

ay
 S

ep
ar

at
io

n
s 

Financial Year

Country Same Day Separations Metro Same Day Separations State Same Day Rate 

Source: Health Information Portal.

In 2015-16, 77 per cent of patients were admitted and discharged on the same day in South Australian public 
hospitals for a specific elective procedure, an increase of 7 per cent compared to 2007-08 (Figure 4). In 2015-16,  
SA Health introduced two new policies aimed at increasing the amount of elective surgery undertaken on a same day 
and extended day (23 hour) basis to ensure services are delivered in the most efficient model and patients do not stay 
in hospital longer than required, while also improving elective surgery throughput.

Figure 4   Same day surgery procedures

67% 

68% 

69% 

70% 

71% 

72% 

73% 

74% 

75% 

76% 

77% 

78% 

22 000 

23 000 

24 000 

25 000 

26 000 

27 000 

28 000 

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 

Sameday Surgery Separations % Sameday 

Sa
m

e 
D

ay
 R

at
e

Sa
m

e 
D

ay
 S

ep
ar

at
io

n
s 

Source: Health Information Portal (Admitted activity).



page 19Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

The average overnight length of stay for South Australian metropolitan public hospitals has reduced from 5.5 days in 
2014-15 to 5.1 days in 2015-16, a reduction of 7 per cent (Figure 5). A number of strategies have been implemented 
to streamline the patient journey in the hospital setting, such as criteria led discharge and rapid access clinics.

Figure 5   Overnight admissions average length of stay (metropolitan hospitals)

4.6 

4.8 

5.0 

5.2 

5.4 

5.6 

5.8 

6.0 

6.2 

135 000 

140 000 

145 000 

150 000 

155 000 

160 000 

165 000 

170 000 

175 000 

180 000 

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 

Separations ALOS 

A
ve

ra
g

e 
Le

n
g

th
 o

f 
St

ay

O
ve

rn
ig

h
t 

A
d

m
is

si
o

n
s

Source: Health Information Portal (Admitted activity).
Note: Excludes Hospital in the Home and time spent in an intensive care unit.

Elective Surgery Strategy

The number of elective procedures performed in South Australian public hospitals has been gradually decreasing since 
2011-12. In 2015-16, metropolitan hospitals performed 4.5 per cent less procedures than in 2014-15 and country 
hospitals performed 4.2 per cent less procedures (Figure 6).

Figure 6   Elective surgery procedures at metropolitan and country hospitals

0

10 000

20 000

30 000

40 000

50 000

60 000

70 000

80 000

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 

El
ec

ti
ve

 S
u

rg
er

y 
A

d
m

is
si

o
n

s 

Financial Year 

Country Hospitals Metro Hospitals 

Source: Health Information Portal (elective surgery). 
Note: Country hospital admissions estimated from the admitted activity data between 2007-08 and 2010-11.



page 20 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

On 1 July 2014, the Elective Procedures Strategy 2014-15 to 2017-18 commenced, providing SA Health s commitment 
for the next four years to deliver high quality, accessible and appropriate elective procedures to the South Australian 
community. The strategy builds on and continues the successes delivered to elective surgery management, including 
the reduction of waiting lists and removal of long wait patients, gained through the Elective Surgery Strategy 2009-10 
to 2013-14.

Figure 7   Days waited at 90th percentile

0

50

100

150

200

250

300

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 

D
ay

s 

Financial Year 

SA National 

Source: Health Information Portal (elective surgery) and Australian Hospital Statistics, 2014-15. 
Note: Country hospitals included from 2011-12.

Figure 8   Median waiting times in days

0

10

20

30

40

50

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 

D
ay

s 

Financial Year 

SA National 

Source: Health Information Portal (elective surgery) and Australian Hospital Statistics, 2014-15.
Note: Country hospitals included from 2011-12.



page 21Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

There were no overdue patients waiting for elective surgery in South Australian public hospitals as at 30 June 2016. 
This represents a significant reduction on 2007-08 when there were more than 900 overdue patients (Figure 9).

Figure 9   Patients overdue for elective surgery at metropolitan hospitals as at 30 June 2016

0 

10 

20 

30 

40 

50 

Jun-09 Jun-10 Jun-11 Jun-12 Jun-13 Jun-14 Jun-15 Jun-16 

N
u

m
b

er
 O

ve
rd

u
e 

Financial Year 

Cat 1 (within 30 days) Cat 2 (within 90 days) Cat 3 (within 365 days) 

Source: Health Information Portal (elective surgery).

Emergency Department Services

In 2015-16, there were 394 946 Emergency Department (ED) presentations at metropolitan hospitals, an increase 
of 11 035 presentations (2.9 per cent) from 2014-15 (Figure 10).  Including the seven large country hospital EDs, 
the total number of ED presentations was 481 907 in 2015-16 which is 12 563 (2.7 per cent) above 2014-15 
presentations.

Figure 10   Emergency department presentations at metropolitan hospitals

200 000

225 000

250 000

275 000

300 000

325 000

350 000

375 000

400 000

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 

ED
 P

re
se

n
ta

ti
o

n
s 

Financial Year 

Source: Health Information Portal (ED).



page 22 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

In 2015-16, 66 per cent of all patients visiting public hospital EDs were assessed, admitted, discharged or transferred 
within a four-hour timeframe, representing an increase of 2 per cent compared to 2014-15 (Figure 11). In addition, 
67 per cent of patients were seen within clinically recommended triage times, compared to the result of 61 per cent in 
2007-08 (Table 1).

Table 1   South Australian emergency department percentage of  people seen on time 

 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16

South Australia 61% 64% 67% 71% 76% 75% 73% 66% 67%

National 69% 70% 70% 70% 72% 73% 75% 74% N/A

Data from September 2011 includes seven large country hospitals which have not been reported historically.

Figure 11 - Emergency department patients seen on time by all triage categories (per cent)

0% 

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 

Pe
rc

en
t 

Se
en

 O
n

 T
im

e 

Financial Year 

South Australia National 

Source: Health Information Portal (ED). 
Note: Data from September 2011 includes seven large country hospitals which have not been reported historically.



page 23Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

In 2015-16, the median waiting time to be seen in EDs was 20 minutes, a decrease of nine minutes from the median 
waiting time of 29 minutes in 2007-08.

Figure 12 - Median waiting time to service delivery in minutes

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 

M
in

u
te

s 

Financial Year 

South Australia National 

Source: Health Information Portal (ED).
Note: Data from September 2011 includes seven large country hospitals which have not been reported historically.

Through Transforming Health, major EDs are being further developed at FMC, the RAH and LMH with senior doctors 
and nurses on-site around the clock to respond to life-threatening emergencies and trauma. Community EDs are 
being maintained at smaller hospitals, such as TQEH, Noarlunga Hospital and Modbury Hospital, to ensure the 
community can still access the services they require, close to home.

Primary Health Care
SA Health regularly participates in national system-wide policy and planning for primary health care with the 
Commonwealth and other State and Territory Governments. In 2015-16 SA Health contributed to:

 &gt; The work of the Primary Health Care Advisory Group and Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce.

 &gt; The development of national policy and strategy frameworks, including:

   National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions

   National Asthma Strategy

   National Diabetes Strategy. 

From 1 July 2015, two new Primary Health Networks (PHNs) commenced operating in South Australia, replacing the 
previous five Medicare Locals. PHNs are primary health care organisations responsible for coordinating and planning 
primary health care. The key objectives of PHNs are to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services 
of patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes and improve coordination of care to ensure patients 
receive the right care in the right place at the right time.

SA Health is working in partnership with both the Adelaide and Country SA PHNs to facilitate a shared agenda for 
priority projects that will achieve the best health outcomes for all South Australians. Working together to improve 
the coordination of care will support the provision of best quality care at the right time and in the most appropriate 
setting. A collaborative partnership will also foster innovative approaches to system design and service delivery and 
encourage sharing of information and other resources.



page 24 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Universal Contact Visits

In 2015-16, 18 412 babies were visited by a child and family health nurse as part of the Universal Contact Visit 
program, which is offered to parents in South Australia.

The Universal Contact Visit responds to the needs of the parents at the time of the visit (particularly feeding and 
settling their baby), providing information for ensuring a safe environment for the baby (including safe sleeping 
arrangements) and linking the family in with local and ongoing community supports and services.

With the known incidence of post-natal depression, screening for this and for other factors that may impact on a 
mother s wellbeing and/or baby s development, is undertaken by the nurses with information about local community 
support provided and linking in with the local general practitioner.

Family Home Visiting

Family Home Visiting is a two-year preventative-parenting program that has been progressively rolled out across the 
state since 2004-05. The program is offered to eligible families identified by Child and Family Health Service nurses at 
the Universal Contact Visit and focuses on child development, enhancing the parent-child relationship, ensuring the 
health and safety of infants and connecting families to community supports.

In 2015-16, 1461 families were actively involved in the program and 541 families completed the program. An 
additional 1090 new families joined the program.

Child Health Checks

Child health surveillance is a key component of child health services across the state. Health surveillance includes 
health assessments, consultations, health promotion and information, support for feeding and settling issues, 
immunisation and parent education groups. 

Key childhood transition points are monitored at the Universal Contact Visit and developmental screening is promoted 
via the South Australian Child Health and Development Record (known as the  Blue Book ) and at the Ages and 
Stages Questionnaire at the six and 18 month health checks. 

A total of 37 056 Child Health Checks were completed during 2015-16.

Safety and Quality
The department has an extensive statewide program to ensure continuous improvement to the safety and quality of 
health care and achieve the best possible outcomes for consumers. 

Challenging behaviour

The Preventing and Responding to Challenging Behaviour Strategy aims to reduce the number of incidents related to 
challenging behaviour and improving responses should they occur.  

The strategy includes a campaign to raise awareness about paramedics and ambulance officers experiencing 
challenging behaviour from the public. The key message of the campaign was  I can t fight for your mate s life if I m 
fighting for mine  and the objectives were to:

 &gt; Raise awareness of the unacceptability of challenging behaviours towards SAAS staff.

 &gt; Decrease incidents of challenging behaviour in this setting.

 &gt; Increase staff perceptions of safety.

The campaign was extremely successful with all three objectives being achieved and/or overachieved. The unpaid 
tactics utilised by the department on social media during the campaign had unprecedented success in South Australia 
particularly with the Facebook results. 



page 25Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Measuring Consumer Experience

The SA Consumer Experience Surveillance Survey continued in 2015, with over 2300 South Australians that had 
stayed overnight in a metropolitan or country hospital interviewed.

Consumer responses were analysed to measure performance in three areas: 

 &gt; Ten core domains of care relating to consumer experience.

 &gt; SA Health Key Performance Indicator (KPI)  Involvement in care and treatment .

 &gt; Additional areas of care such as:

   Hospital environment

   Patient rights and engagement

   Open disclosure

   ED

   Workforce

   Hand hygiene and facilities.

South Australian public hospitals scored above the benchmark of 90 in five domains of care    Treated with respect 
and dignity ,  Nurses ,  Cleanliness ,  Pain control  and  Privacy . Four domains of care remained below the SA Health 
benchmark of 85 in 2015 -  Consistent and coordinated care ,  Involvement in decision-making,  Food  and  Discharge 
Information .

Consumer Feedback
SA Health encourages consumers, families, carers and the community to provide feedback.

Feedback provides an opportunity for health services to observe the quality of health care from the perspective of 
consumers and carers. It also assists in directing improvement in the quality of these services.

The data provided below is comprised of all SA Health consumer feedback received (inclusive of LHNs and SAAS 
consumer feedback).

Type of feedback

In 2015-16, SA Health consumer feedback reported into the Safety Learning System decreased by 1.7 per cent 
compared to 2014-15.

Table 2 - SA Health consumer feedback received by type of feedback 2015-16

Type of feedback 2015-16 Number

Compliment 3 695

Complaint 6 798

Suggestion 221

Advice 281

Total 10 995

Source:  Safety Learning System. 
Note: Data for 2014-15 was recalculated for comparison purposes.



page 26 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Classification of complaints

Complaints are classified against the national health complaints categories and sub categories. There was a 1.3 per 
cent increase in the number of complaints about communication; an 18.9 per cent increase in complaints about 
treatment; and a 16.9 per cent increase in complaints about access.

Table 3 - SA Health classification of complaints by national health complaints categories 2015-16

Classification of complaints 2015-16 Number

Communication 1 748

Treatment 2 059

Access 1 692

Corporate Service 867

Cost 295

Privacy / Discrimination 240

Professional Conduct 119

Grievances 108

Consent 62

Source:  Safety Learning System. 
Note: Each issue within a single complaint is classified therefore the number of complaints when classified (Table 3), is higher than the total number  
of complaints detailed in Table 2.

Complaints aligned to Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner Charter of Rights

The Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner Charter of Rights is aligned to the national health 
complaint category and sub category in the Safety Learning System Consumer Feedback module.

Quality of care, access, information and respect are areas where complaints mostly arise, however few complaints 
were received about privacy, participation, comment and safety which is consistent with 2014-15 reporting.

Between 2015-16 and 2014-15, there was a 4.8 per cent increase in the number of complaints reported which align 
to the Charter of Rights in relation to quality. Complaints in relation to access increased 15.5 per cent, and there was 
a 21.1 per cent increase in complaints related to information.

Public Health
The State Public Health Plan establishes the framework for action to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of 
South Australians, including action by Local Councils. 

The department continues to support the building of the Public Health Planning System through:

 &gt; Assisting Local Government with the development and implementation of Regional Public Health Plans. Thirty 
Regional Public Health Plans have been developed to date and are in varying stages of implementation.  

 &gt; Provision of training, education and capacity building, in partnership with the Local Government Association and 
informed by ongoing consultation with local councils.

 &gt; Developing, maintaining and coordinating partnerships across State Government, the non-government sector, 
university sector and private enterprises. 

Seven Public Health Partner Authorities have now been formally established under Section 51 of the PH Act. These 
Authorities are entities that make a tangible contribution to improved population health and wellbeing through working 
in partnership with the department on agreed issues of significance to public health, through a co-benefits approach.

Public Health Week 2016

The inaugural Public Health Week was held from 4 to 8 April 2015. Public Health Week increased awareness about 
the significant but often unseen role that public health plays on a daily basis in protecting health, preventing illness 
and promoting wellbeing.

Fifty-six per cent of councils across South Australia participated in Public Health Week with activities from social media 
and website posts to stalls and displays at council facilities. 



page 27Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Minister for Health   Excellence in Public Health Awards

The inaugural Minister for Health   Excellence in Public Health Awards were conducted in 2016 and announced 
during Public Health Week. The awards recognised local councils in South Australia that made outstanding 
contributions to public health for their communities. 

Public and Environmental Health Protection

Regional and remote health protection operations

Public and environmental health services are provided to remote, rural and Aboriginal communities in  out-of-council  
areas of South Australia which account for approximately 85 per cent of the geographical area of the state.

Activities in 2015-16 included:

 &gt; One hundred and twenty two food safety inspections and seven food safety audits covering all food businesses in 
the APY lands and other out-of-council areas. 

 &gt; Twice yearly inspection of 23 public swimming pools for compliance with the South Australian Public Health 
(General) Regulations 2013.

 &gt; Fifty nine inspections and water sampling of high risk manufactured water systems for compliance with the  
South Australian Public Health (Legionella) Regulations 2013.

 &gt; Approval of 40 applications and 51 inspections of wastewater systems under the South Australian Public Health 
(Wastewater) Regulations 2013.

 &gt; Auditing and water sampling of 22 premises under the Safe Drinking Water Act 2011.

Port Pirie Transformation Project

The 2015 annual Port Pirie children s blood lead level analysis indicated that the average (geometric mean) blood lead 
level of children tested was 4.3  g/dL 

Of the children tested (including surrogate results for untested newborns), 57.6 per cent had a blood lead level 
below the newly revised National Health and Medical research Council lead exposure investigation level of 5  g/dL 
while 83.4 per cent of children had levels below the previous national target level 10  g/dL which is a 1.8 per cent 
improvement compared to 2014 and the best result in the past decade.

Food regulation

The Food Act 2001 (the Food Act) and its regulations ensure that food for sale is safe and suitable for human 
consumption and is appropriately labelled. 

In 2015-16, the department:

 &gt; Collected 3039 food samples (2400 which were the result of a major food borne investigation) to check for 
compliance with the Food Act. 

 &gt; Managed one of the largest foodborne disease outbreaks in South Australia in April and May 2016 when over 280 
human cases of Salmonella Saintpaul were notified. The department identified the source of illness, provided advice 
to the public and applied corrective action.

 &gt; Undertook food safety audits of over 130 public hospitals, regional childcare and aged care facilities, not-for-profit 
delivered meals organisations, Domiciliary Care, Disability Services and food businesses processing seafood.

 &gt; Advanced the Food Safety Rating Scheme across 18 councils providing diners with information about the food 
safety of the business.

 &gt; Implemented the Health Star Rating System Front of Pack food nutrition labelling with over 3000 products and over 
75 companies displaying the Health Star Rating graphic as at 30 March 2016.

 &gt; Trained Environmental Health Officers, with 62 officers undertaking training in the Food Safety Rating Scheme 
and 30 officers undertaking risk classification and risk-based food safety inspection training as part of the ongoing 
application of the South Australian risk classification system. 



page 28 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Healthy Kids Menu

The South Australian Premier s Healthy Kids Menus initiative engages restaurants, cafes, hotels and clubs to increase 
the availability of healthy menu options for children when dining out. The Healthy Kids Menu Taskforce report, 
including recommendations, was noted by Cabinet and released by the Hon. Jay Weatherill M.P. in December 2015. 
Implementation of the recommendations will continue throughout 2016-17. 

Safe drinking water regulation

Approved auditors/inspectors from the department conducted 56 audits and 38 inspections during 2015-16. Audits 
of SA Water drinking water systems included a remote Aboriginal community and several metropolitan and regional 
locations including small-medium providers including hospitals and aged care facilities, schools, water carters, council 
operated and independent suppliers. 

Tobacco regulation

In 2015-16, the department conducted 588 inspections of tobacco retailers, public areas and workplaces for 
compliance with the Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997 and Regulations. Enforcement activities focused on 
ensuring compliance with the minimum requirements for enclosed areas in outdoor areas in hotels, bars and 
restaurants as well as shisha cafes and lounges. Fifteen expiation notices were served.

Communicable Diseases

Disease surveillance and investigation

In 2015-16, there were over 31 200 disease notifications, a 10 per cent increase in reported infections compared 
to 2014-15. Increases in notifications are due to a combination of more sensitive laboratory testing methods, more 
diseases under surveillance, and a true increase of some diseases in the community.  

Vaccine preventable diseases

In 2015-16, there were 14 031 cases of influenza notified compared to 12 651 infections notified in 2014-15.  
Eight per cent of cases were hospitalised and there were 53 deaths directly attributed to the infection. 

There were 1437 notifications of pertussis (whopping cough) in 2014-15 compared to 712 in the previous financial 
year. Forty-one cases were aged less than two years and were contacted for public health follow up. Increases in 
notifications occur every three to four years and are related to fluctuating levels of immunity in the community.

Five cases of measles were notified for this reporting period compared to two in 2014-15. Two cases had recent 
overseas travel to Indonesia, the remaining cases were household contacts and all were unvaccinated. 

Case numbers of meningococcal disease remained steady, with 33 cases notified during 2015-16. Ninety-seven per 
cent of cases were caused by the meningococcal serogroup B strain. A vaccine is available for this strain but is not 
funded on the national immunisation program.

New notifiable conditions

In 2016 rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart disease, chancroid, Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection, and Hendra virus 
infection were added to the list of conditions that are notifiable under the PH Act. Medical practitioners and 
diagnostic pathology services must report suspected and confirmed cases enabling an appropriate public health 
response when cases occur.

Sexually Transmissible Infection and Blood Borne Virus Section 

In 2015-16, the Sexually Transmissible Infection (STI) and Blood Borne Virus (BBV) section administered $9m in state 
funding for HIV, STI and BBV prevention, education, care, support and advocacy programs throughout the state. 

HIV point of care testing was offered in South Australia for the first time, the aim of which is to provide more 
convenient testing and to uncover undiagnosed HIV in the community thereby linking people to care and treatment 
at an earlier stage of infection and reducing transmission to others. 

There were 7274 disease notifications for persons infected with STI and BBV, similar to the 2014-15 results. 
Indigenous Australians accounted for 651 (9 per cent) of the notifications, similar to 2014-15.



page 29Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Enteric diseases

In 2015-16, there was a 10 per cent increase in Salmonella notifications compared to the previous period, bringing 
case numbers to 1448. Of these, 19 per cent were hospitalised.

There were seven cases of Hepatitis A notified this period, all overseas-acquired. Two locally acquired cases of 
Hepatitis E were reported. One had overseas travel, the other case was locally acquired.  

Seven cases of Typhoid and seven cases of Paratyphoid were notified. Contact tracing was undertaken for all cases 
with all but four cases reported overseas travel and three in the same family cluster.

There were over ten major foodborne outbreak investigations for this period including:

 &gt; A hospital-acquired Salmonella Typhimurium phage type 9 investigation. A total of 37 people who had contact 
with the hospital were reported unwell, with 16 testing positive for Salmonella Typhimurium phage type 9. Internal 
components from a stab mixer were also positive for the same strain. 

 &gt; An increase of Salmonella Saintpaul, a rare strain of Salmonella in South Australia, observed with a total of 283 
confirmed cases notified since 1 December 2015. Epidemiological and environmental investigations identified 
mung bean sprouts as the likely source of infection.  

Vector-borne diseases

Reports of locally acquired arbovirus infections were low due to changes in laboratory testing practises and case 
definitions as well as environmental factors. An increase in the number of overseas-acquired mosquito-borne 
infections continues to be observed with 65 notifications of dengue, five cases of chikungunya, ten cases of malaria, 
and two cases of Zika virus in 2015-16. 

Zoonoses

Diseases which can be transmitted from animals to humans were within expected levels and comparable to previous 
years. There were 15 cases of Q fever notified, compared to 11 in 2014-15.

Other infectious diseases

There were 471 notifications of cryptosporidiosis in 2015-16 compared to 370 in 2014-15 with contaminated 
swimming pools as likely risk exposures for many cases. An outbreak investigation of cryptosporidiosis was completed 
in August 2015.

Immunisation coverage

A total of 926 184 doses of vaccine were distributed in 2015-16, an increase of 1.5 per cent compared to the 
previous year.

According to the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register as at June 2016, 93 per cent of children in South 
Australia are fully vaccinated by five years of age, an increase of 2.3 per cent compared to last year. An increase in 
children receiving  catch-up  vaccinations could be partly attributed to the Commonwealth s  No Jab No Pay  initiative.

As at 30 June 2016, 91.2 per cent of Aboriginal children in South Australia were fully immunised by 12-15 months  
of age, an increase of 4.6 per cent compared to the same period the previous year for this age group.  
Ninety-two per cent are fully vaccinated by five years of age.

Maternal Pertussis vaccination strategy

Free pertussis vaccine is available for pregnant women in their third trimester and provides protection from pertussis 
infection for the mother and the newborn infant in the first few months of life. In 2015-16, almost 18 000 doses 
were distributed and indications are that vaccine uptake by pregnant women is high.

Healthcare Associated Infection 

Healthcare associated bloodstream infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus ( golden staph ) has been a national 
indicator of quality of health care since June 2008, with a jurisdictional target of less than two infections per 10 000 
patient days. South Australian public hospitals continue to perform well with 0.67 episodes per 10 000 patient days 
of care in 2015-16, compared to 0.77 for 2014-15.



page 30 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Aboriginal Health
SA Health strives to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal South Australians to have a healthy life 
expectancy and health status that is compatible to non-Aboriginal people. 

SA Health s intentions/actions are demonstrated through the following aims:

 &gt; Reduce Aboriginal ill-health. 

 &gt; Develop a culturally responsive health system. 

 &gt; Promote Aboriginal community health and wellbeing.

Aboriginal Health Care Plan 2010-16

The department continues to work closely with the LHNs to monitor the implementation of the Aboriginal Health 
Care Plan 2010-16. Each of the LHNs has a governance structure that guides the implementation initiatives relevant 
to the specific priorities of each LHN. 

Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes 

South Australia continued its investment throughout 2015-16 into Closing the Gap which supports two National 
Indigenous Reform Agreement targets:

 &gt; Close the gap in life expectancy within a generation.

 &gt; Halve the gap in mortality rates for children under five by 2018.

The 2015-16 year was the last of the current three year funding cycle. During the last three years of state funding, 
support was provided to 20 programs which continued to achieve positive health gains and improve the wellbeing of 
Indigenous people in South Australia.

The 2016-17 budget included funding for Closing the Gap of $10.7m per annum from 2016-17, continuing the State 
Government s contribution to improving positive health outcomes for Aboriginal South Australians.  

Reduce Aboriginal ill-health

South Australian Statewide Strategies

During 2015-16, SA Health commissioned the development of three statewide strategies for implementation:

 &gt; South Australian Aboriginal Heart and Stroke Plan 2017-2021 - to improve cardiovascular care and reduce 
cardiovascular morbidity and mortality for Indigenous  South Australians.

 &gt; South Australian Aboriginal Diabetes Strategy - to improve the quality of life and increase longevity of Indigenous 
people with diabetes in South Australia by preventing or slowing related vascular disease progression through the 
delivery of a coordinated and focused approach to diabetes management.

 &gt; South Australian Aboriginal Cancer Control Plan 2016-2021 - sets the direction for the next five years with focus 
on implementation and outcome monitoring of initiatives to reduce preventable cancers, detect cancer at an early 
stage and improve coordination and access to culturally sensitive Optimal Cancer Pathways.

Acute Rheumatic Fever

The South Australia Rheumatic Heart Disease Control Program confirmed funding through to June 2017 as part of 
the Commonwealth Government s National Rheumatic Fever Strategy.

Collaboration with the Aboriginal Community Controlled Sector has been crucial to undertake rheumatic heart 
disease control activities and the upward trend in the proportion of people adhering to their treatment regime to 
prevent rheumatic heart disease has been maintained.

The South Australian Rheumatic Heart Disease Control Register now has 230 people enrolled. The program has seen 
a significant increase in the number of people receiving the required treatment from 60 per cent last year to 80 per 
cent in 2015-16.



page 31Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Develop a culturally responsive health system

Aboriginal Cultural Competence Framework

The development of a system-wide Cultural Competence Framework continued throughout 2015-16. The framework 
will support a well governed tiered approach to workforce development that ensures all SA Health employees have 
the required skills, knowledge and attitudes to enable staff to perform their duties in a culturally competent manner 
to flexibly respond to the needs of Aboriginal people in their care.

Aboriginal Health Practitioner Project

The department, through the Aboriginal Health Practitioner Project has developed the draft documents which are 
currently out for consultation including career structure, scope of practice, clinical governance and a credentialing 
policy. 

Aboriginal Health Scholarships

The Aboriginal Health Scholarships program supported 41 Aboriginal university students studying a range of 
qualifications such as Medical, Physiotherapy, Nursing, Midwifery, Public Health, Dentistry, Physio and Social work. 
During 2015-16 three scholars graduated in Medical, Social Work and Dental Surgery.

Promote Aboriginal community health and wellbeing

Traditional Healers Brokerage Program

The Traditional Healer Brokerage Program provides access funding to Traditional Healing Services in accordance with 
Aboriginal traditional medical practice, especially for mental health and social and emotional wellbeing support for 
Aboriginal patients and consumers. Referrals are provided through SA Health sites including hospitals, health services 
and clinics and during 2015-16 over 300 Aboriginal patients received treatment through individual healing sessions 
and clinic scheduled appointments.

Closing the Gap Support   Community Small Grants Initiative 

Through the provision of small grants the department supported seven community groups to support initiatives to 
address the social determinants of health at the local level and build upon initiatives that improve their health and 
wellbeing outcomes. Initiatives that promote healthy lifestyle, encourage physical activity, promote positive role 
models within excommunicated groups such as the youth, gay and lesbian.

Mental Health Care 

Strategy and Service Improvement

Suicide Prevention

A South Australian Suicide Prevention Strategy 2017-2021 is being developed and is due for release in 2017 to 
continue the work of the current South Australian Suicide Prevention Strategy 2012-2016 which was released in 
September 2012.

In 2015-16, 15 Suicide Prevention Networks were developed and a further eight local government regions became 
involved in network development. The networks function as a partnership model between council and the local 
community developing and implementing suicide prevention initiatives. The networks raise awareness, breakdown 
stigma, facilitate education and training in mental health first aid and support those bereaved by suicide.

South Australian Mental Health Commission

The South Australian Mental Health Commission was established 29 October 2015. The Commission is independent 
from the department and will be responsible for the development of the next South Australian Mental Health Plan 
during 2016-17.



page 32 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Performance

Improving Mental Health Service responsiveness and capacity

Localised ED bed management strategies were introduced across LHNs during 2015-16 and have resulted in a 
significant improvement in average ED waiting times for adults and older persons from 14.8 hours in 2014-15 to  
9.7 hours in 2015-16. These improvements occurred despite an increase of 8 per cent in ED presentations by adults 
and older persons during 2015-16.

Mental health readmissions within 28 days

One benchmark for success in providing appropriate patient care to people with mental illness can be measured by 
examining the number of people who are readmitted within 28 days.

In 2015-16, the rate of mental health readmission was 9.8 per cent which is well within the target range of less than 
12 per cent.

The increase in readmission rate over the past three financial years may be attributable to strategies targeting ED wait 
times for mental health consumers, including introduction of mental health short stay admitted patient services and 
an increased focus on flow through mental health bedded services. Results continue to be closely monitored. 

Figure 13   Mental health readmission within 28 days

0%

2%

4%

6%

8%

10%

12%

2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16(a) 

R
ea

d
m

is
si

o
n

 R
at

e 

Financial Year 

Note: (a) From 1 June 2015 to 31 May 2016.
Source: Admitted Activity II Universe, 5 July 2016.

Community care within seven days of discharge

Post-discharge follow up in the community is an important strategy for maintaining health and recovery in the 
vulnerable period following a hospital stay. This follow up may be provided by a public mental health service, a 
general practitioner or a private psychiatrist. Although public mental health services are only one of the providers for 
post-discharge community care, the percentage of people receiving a public mental health follow up has risen from 
38.4 per cent in 2007-08 to 54.9 per cent in 2015-16. Results are likely to be under-reported due to missing linkage 
data between the multiple hospital and community mental health information systems.



page 33Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Figure 14   Community care within seven days of discharge

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16(a) 

Pe
rc

en
ta

g
e 

Financial Year 

Note: (a) From 1 June 2015 to 31 May 2016.
Source: Admitted Activity II Universe, 5 July 2016 combined with community mental health systems (CBIS/CCCME/BART). 

Average length of stay

Average Length of Stay represents the tension between the acuity of an individual s illness, the recovery times for 
different mental illnesses and the efficacy of treatment. Average Length of Stay for inpatient mental health services 
has remained with the national benchmark range of 11 to 24 days. It has decreased from 17.3 days in 2007-08 to 
11.8 days in 2015-16. This is primarily related to implementation of mental health short stay services. 

Figure 15   Mental health average length of stay (days)

0

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

18

20

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16(a) 

D
ay

s 

Financial Year 

Note: (a) From 1 June 2015 to 31 May 2016.
Source: Admitted Activity II Universe, 5 July 2016.

Drug and Alcohol Services 

Tobacco Control 

Smoking prevalence (smoking daily, weekly or less often than weekly) for South Australians aged 15 years and older 
is significantly lower, reducing from 20.5 per cent in 2010 to 15.7 per cent in 2015. The 2015 results consolidate the 
trend of declining smoking rates in South Australia under the South Australian Tobacco Control Strategy 2011-2016.

Smoking rates have also declined among young people aged 15-29 years from 22.9 per cent in 2010 to 16.9 per cent 
in 2015. Government initiatives aimed at addressing higher smoking rates in disadvantaged populations have seen 
the smoking rate among people with a mental illness decrease from 34.5 per cent in 2010 to 26.0 per cent in 2015. 



page 34 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

South Australian Tobacco Control Strategy 2017-2020 

On World No Tobacco Day 31 May 2016, the Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse launched the South 
Australian Tobacco Control Strategy 2017-2020 which includes targets and actions across five key areas:

 &gt; Reduce daily smoking prevalence in the general population.

 &gt; Reduce daily smoking prevalence among Aboriginal people.

 &gt; Reduce the gap between high smoking prevalence groups and the general population. 

 &gt; Reduce exposure to second hand smoke.

 &gt; Enforce legislation and regulation.

By the end of 2016, the aim is to see significant reductions in smoking prevalence and the number of people being 
exposed to second-hand smoke.

Smoke-free outdoor dining areas 

From 1 July 2016, all public outdoor dining areas in South Australia became non-smoking. This includes the outdoor 
dining areas of venues such as pubs, cafes, restaurants and temporary eateries at events.

In the lead up to its introduction, work was undertaken with hospitality industry peak bodies and other key 
stakeholders to support the dissemination of information and ensure smooth introduction of the new law. 

A statewide awareness campaign was undertaken from May to July 2016 to inform venue proprietors and the general 
public of the changes which included radio, press, outdoor, ambient and Facebook promotion. 

Tobacco social marketing

A new round of television advertising to encourage smokers to quit and aiming to reduce the prevalence of smoking 
was implemented from 26 July 2015 until 30 June 2016. 

The $1.5m campaign  aimed at triggering quit attempts by smokers. The evidence-based approach has been pivotal 
for driving down smoking rates in South Australia.

Select Committee on E-cigarettes

The South Australian Parliament s Select Committee on E-cigarettes investigated any legislative and regulatory 
controls that should be applied to the advertising, sale and use of these products. This included receiving 142 
submissions and evidence heard from eleven witnesses including Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia staff who 
also coordinated the development of the whole-of-government submission to the Select Committee. 

In February 2016, the Select Committee tabled its report to Parliament which included 20 recommendations across 
seven key areas. The report is currently under consideration by the Government.

Amendment to the Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997

In March 2016, Parliament passed the Tobacco Products Regulation (Artistic Performances) Amendment Bill 2015. 
This amendment provides the Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse with the power to exempt artistic 
performances from Section 46(1) of the Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997 so that smoking can occur on stage 
under strict conditions, reducing red tape while providing appropriate oversight for approving exemptions.

Other Drug Intervention and Treatment

Methamphetamine use 

In response to a significant increase in methamphetamine-related harm, SA Health developed and distributed 
methamphetamine-related publications and treatment resources, targeted communication resources and developed a 
media information package to enable more consistent and accurate reporting on methamphetamine issues. 



page 35Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

SA Health continued to deliver a range of evidence-based strategies in response to concerns about methamphetamine 
use, including:

 &gt; Treatment services, available statewide through Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia and SA Health-funded 
non-government agencies.

 &gt; Best practice guidelines for the management of drug dependence and amphetamine induced psychosis.

 &gt; Improving access to validated screening and assessment tools used to identify drug problems early and 
implemented across a range of health and welfare services.

 &gt; Monitoring of drug use and harm in the population through population health surveys, wastewater monitoring and 
service data.

 &gt; The Clean Needle Program which provides sterile injecting equipment and disposal practices. The program also 
provides referrals to drug treatment, health, legal and social services for injecting drug users.

SA Health also works in partnership as part of a whole-of-government approach to alcohol and other drug use, as 
outlined in the South Australian Alcohol and Other Drug Strategy 2011-2016, ensuring ongoing health and law 
enforcement collaboration to address methamphetamine use.

Specialist alcohol and other drug assessment and treatment services

Three year service agreements for the Specialist Drug and Alcohol Assessment and Treatment Services program for  
SA Health began on 1 July 2015. 

This program funds alcohol and other drug treatment services through non-government organisations across the 
state. It also includes specific targeted work to support families affected by substance misuse, the Yalata Aboriginal 
Community Incorporated on the west coast of South Australia, and funding for the peak non-government body, the 
South Australian Network of Drug and Alcohol Services.

Implementation of Police Drug Diversion undertakings

The Police Drug Diversion Initiative diverts people detected by police for simple possession of illicit drugs to a health 
intervention, rather than process them through the criminal justice system.

From 1 July 2015, changes made to the operational policy of this program ensure that any adult diverted more than 
twice in a 24 month period is placed on an undertaking which is an agreed treatment plan that a diverted individual 
is required to complete under section 36 of the Controlled Substance Act 1984. It is a more significant health 
intervention than a standard diversion. Undertakings do not apply to youth diversions. 

Treatment Engagement Trial

A substantial portion of people who are at risk in the CBD through lack of accommodation and alcohol and other 
drug dependence accumulate fine debts over many years. Fine accumulation can be a significant burden for 
vulnerable people, contributing to the impact of poverty. 

A pilot one-year Treatment Engagement Trial commenced in October 2015. The trial aims to provide alcohol and 
other drug treatment to vulnerable people in the CBD while addressing fine debt accumulation by enabling eligible 
people to resolve their fines through the completion of an alcohol or other drug treatment plan. As at 30 June 
2016, 51 people had engaged in the trial, resulting in provision of treatment and resolving a substantial burden of 
outstanding fines.

Prevention of opioid overdose harms

Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of opioid overdose, acts very quickly and can bring an overdose 
patient back to consciousness minutes after its administration. This medication is now available either on prescription 
or over the counter. 

Naloxone distribution to people who inject opioids for  peer administration  provides the opportunity for overdose to 
be treated immediately thus preventing brain injury or death. 

Continued work with a range of services has been undertaken to provide education about how to prevent overdose 
and recognise and respond to an overdose, including how to administer naloxone. Overdose prevention and response 
resources have been developed to help guide these discussions.



page 36 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

 

PART 2

STATUTORY 

AND 

OTHER MANDATORY REPORTING



page 37Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Health Workforce 

Workforce Reform
The department contributed to the implementation of recommendations from a major independent review of the 
National Regulation and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) for health professionals. The department 
examined policy issues and identified legislative change required to ensure public protection and effective regulation 
of the fourteen health professions included in the National Scheme.

Work is underway to develop the required national frameworks required for registration of paramedics. It is 
anticipated that this will facilitate the expanded and effective use of paramedics in South Australia.

Ensuring that education and training arrangements for new health practitioners remain responsive to contemporary 
needs has also been an area of national focus. In particular an independent review of medical internship in Australia 
was commissioned. The department contributed actively and looks forward to exploring how the recommendations 
can be implemented in South Australia.

Staff Engagement Survey
A Staff Engagement Survey for departmental staff was conducted in May 2016. Over 50 per cent of staff participated 
in the survey and provided their opinions about key areas such as leadership, teamwork and communication. 

The feedback will be used to improve the way the organisation works together and to build a culture of trust and 
respect where all staff feel valued and supported.  

The survey highlighted that staff understand what is expected of them in their roles and how they contribute to 
the overall success of the department. Staff also feel supported by their teams, are aware of work health and safety 
responsibilities and their manager and team members behave respectfully.

The next steps will be to involve staff in the development of plans that capitalise on these strengths and improve the 
areas we need to develop including: knowledge and information sharing; recognising people s achievements; and 
management of change.

White Ribbon
In 2015-16, the department embarked on a collaborative partnership with White Ribbon Australia to promote 
awareness and end violence against women, which included adapting organisational culture, practices and procedures 
to promote respectful relationships and safe workplaces for women.

Baseline and follow up surveys showed progress on the views and attitudes of departmental staff towards men s 
violence against women. Staff and manager training was rolled out and departmental staff became White Ribbon 
Ambassadors and Advocates.

In June 2016 the department was announced as a White Ribbon Accredited Workplace, and for the next three years 
will review SA Health domestic violence and equal opportunity related policies and procedures, and continue rolling 
out education and training to staff and managers to ensure sustainable change.

Leadership and Management Development

Leadership and management training

As part of the Transforming Health program, SA Health has committed to establishing a leadership development 
program to support our current and future leaders. To this end, KPMG has been engaged to deliver the Leading 
Health Transformation leadership development program over the next two years.

The program will focus on building the leadership capabilities needed for successful healthcare transformation and 
represents an investment in the future of SA Health and healthcare for South Australia. Participants will include senior 
executives and clinicians from across the department and LHNs who play a key role in implementing Transforming Health.

In addition, SA Health provides a range of other leadership and management development opportunities for its staff 
including participation in programs delivered through the Office for the Public Sector.



page 38 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Focussed specifically on health professionals, the SA Health Leading Clinicians program commenced in February 2016 
and includes the opportunity for SA Health staff to undertake facilitation roles. The program runs over ten months 
and involves workshops, a patient-centred quality improvement project, action learning, 360 degree feedback and 
individual coaching. 

Women in Leadership

During 2015-16 the Women in Leadership Steering Committee undertook work in the following areas:

 &gt; Maintaining the Mentor Program, which currently links 89 mentees and 48 mentors.

 &gt; Providing executive shadowing opportunities.

 &gt; Maintaining an intranet page which provides information, links and resources for women seeking leadership 
opportunities. 

 &gt; Using the LinkedIn group for Steering Committee members to share current thinking and promote online discussions.

 &gt; Exploring opportunities to expand flexible working arrangements for staff. 

 &gt; Establishing alliances with influential female leaders across SA Health and State Government, and building 
partnerships with other agencies.

 &gt; Acting as a community of practice for people interested in gender equity and diversity.

 &gt; Working with the cross government collaboration group to progress the South Australian Public Sector Gender 
Equality in Leadership Strategy.

Young Professionals Group

The SA Health Young Professionals Group (YPG) promotes the interests of SA Health employees aged 35 years and 
under and offers professional development and opportunities for making new contacts and networking.

Projects completed during 2015-16 include:

 &gt; Introduction of a new  Young Professional of the Year  category in the 2016 SA Health Awards.

 &gt; Launch of YPG Strategic Directions for 2015-2020, attended by the Minister for Health.

 &gt; Administration of grant funding for employees under 35 years for professional development activity.

 &gt; Resilience training for the YPG Steering Committee.

 &gt; Contributed to consultation on the implementation of Transforming Health.

 &gt; Informal quarterly  meet and greet  events, including workshops on Lean Thinking, and Interview Skills and CV writing.

Performance Development

SA Health continues to promote a culture where we work in partnership to enhance the capability, performance and 
wellbeing of our people. The Performance Review and Development program provides a framework which supports all 
levels of staff to have productive performance conversations and highlights the strong link between our goal to provide 
best care, first time, every time, and the contribution of the individual.

The department contributed to the new draft Commissioner for Public Sector Employment Guideline on Performance 
Management and Development and will seek ways to enhance our performance framework as the guideline is 
implemented in 2016-17.

Employment Opportunity Programs

Graduate Recruitment

In 2015-16, graduates were recruited in the following fields:

 &gt; Nursing: 426 registered nurse and 52 registered midwives were offered Transition to Professional Practice Program positions.

 &gt; Medicine: 250 graduates were employed for the 2016 intern year.

 &gt; Mental Health Nursing: 35 places were offered in the Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing.

 &gt; Allied Health: 20 Pharmacy Internship positions were offered.

 &gt; Country Health SA Enrolled Nurse Cadetship: 16 places were offered.

 &gt; Paramedics: 32 intern positions were offered. 



page 39Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Recruitment Attraction and Retention 2015-16

Targeted recruitment campaigns continue to be an effective recruitment activity. Campaigns undertaken in  
2015-16 include:

 &gt; Country Clinical Placements.

 &gt; Careers in Country Health SA.

 &gt; Premiers Scholarship Program.

 &gt; Country Health SA Scholarship Program (Postgraduate and Undergraduate).

 &gt; Pharmacy Candidate Pool.

 &gt; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholarship program.

 &gt; Medical Internship; Basic; Prevocational and Advanced Trainee medical recruitment. 

 &gt; Transition to Professional Practice Program for nursing and midwifery graduates.

Careers in Health

SA Health participated in the following careers expos and events:

 &gt; Flinders University Nursing and Midwifery Expo.

 &gt; Information sessions on the Transition to Professional Practice Program presented to approximately 700 students at:

   University of South Australia 

   University of Adelaide

   Flinders University.

 &gt; 16th National Mental Health Conference.

Human Resource Information 
Further human resources information is available from the Commissioner for Public Employment website  
http://publicsector.sa.gov.au/about/commissioner-for-public-sector-employment/

Employment Arrangements as at 30 June 2016

Workforce Diversity: age and gender profile

Table 4 - Number of employees by age bracket by gender

Age Bracket Male Female Other Total % of Total 2014 Workforce Benchmark*

15   19 1 1 2 0.1% 5.5%

20   24 10 29 39 1.7% 9.7%

25 - 29 52 87 139 6.3% 11.2%

30 - 34 116 154 270 12.2% 10.7%

35 - 39 114 179 293 13.3% 9.6%

40 - 44 135 172 307 13.9% 11.4%

45 - 49 116 167 283 12.8% 11.1%

50 - 54 145 214 359 16.3% 11.4%

55 - 59 127 167 294 13.3% 9.1%

60 - 64 79 93 172 7.8% 6.7%

65+ 28 17 45 2.0% 3.6%

Total 923 1280 0 2203 100.0% 100.0%

* Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Demographic Statistics, 6291.0.55.001 Labour Force Status (ST LM8) by sex, age, state, marital 
status   employed   total from Feb78 Supertable, South Australia at November 2013 
Note: The $ figures above are extracted from the Complete Human Resource Information System payroll system and record salary details only and do 
not include superannuation or reportable Fringe Benefits Tax amounts.




page 40 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Workforce Diversity: disability

Table 5 - Total number of employees with disabilities (according to the Commonwealth DDA definition)

 Male Female Other Total % of Agency

Total 5 11 0 16 0.7%

Table 6 - Types of disability (where specified) 

 Male Female Other Total % of Agency 

Disability requiring workplace adaptation 5 11 0 16 0.7%

Physical 0 3 0 3 0.1%

Intellectual 0 0 0 0 0.0%

Sensory 1 1 0 2 0.1%

Psychological/Psychiatric 1 1 0 2 0.1%

Executives

Table 7 - Executives by gender, classification and status*

Classification

Ongoing Term Tenured Term Untenured Other (Casual) Total

Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female Male % Female % Total

Level F 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2.6% 0 0.0% 1

South Australia Executive Service (SAES)

Level 1 0 0 0 0 13 15 0 0 13 33.3% 15 38.5% 28

Level 2 0 0 0 0 7 3 0 0 7 17.9% 3 7.7% 10

Total 0 0 0 0 21 18 0 0 21 53.8% 18 46.2% 39

Note: The department had no executives engaged on a Term   Tenured or Other employment contract at 30 June 2016.

Leave Management

Table 8 - Average days leave per full time equivalent employee

Leave Type 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16

Sick Leave 7.6 7.6 8.1 9.1

Family Carer s Leave 0.8 0.8 0.8 1.0

Miscellaneous Special Leave 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.5

Performance Development

Table 9 - Documented review of individual performance management 

Employees with   % Total Agency

A review within the past 6 months* 25.83

A review older than 6 months 39.95

No review 34.23

* Includes all performance development plans established or reviewed in the last 12 months.



page 41Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Work Health and Safety and Injury Management

Work Health and Safety and Injury Management System Development and Strategic Direction

SA Health s Work Health Safety and Injury Management (WHSIM) system aligns to the AS/NZ 4801 and includes 
five programs addressing WHSIM: Governance, Accountability and Communication; Hazard Identification and Risk 
Management; Incident Reporting and Investigation; Fitness for Work and Injury Management. The WHSIM System 
also aligns with the Building Safety Excellence in the Public Sector Strategy.

SA Health participated in the Public Sector Audit and Verification System evaluation conducted in April 2016. The 
department s WHSIM system, risk management and internal auditing process were reviewed and WCHN, Southern 
Adelaide LHN and Country Health SA LHN also visited to test implementation. The final report is expected in August 2016.

Work Health and Safety and Injury Management Operational Overview

 &gt; Effectiveness of the WHSIM programs are evaluated with regular internal auditing and data analysis undertaken.

 &gt; The department s Work Health and Safety Action Plan continues to be monitored and maintained through the 
Work Health and Safety Consultative Committee.

 &gt; Consultation and information pathways have continued to operate across the department in relation to WHSIM.

 &gt; When compared with 2014-15, there was a 19 per cent reduction in the number of new claims received and a  
2 per cent increase in new claim costs, reflecting the increase in consumer price index, lump sum and hospital 
costs. Decreases in costs were noted in general medical, rehabilitation and investigation.

 &gt; In relation to new musculo-skeletal claims, most arise from lifting, carrying or putting down objects; repetitive 
movement; or from handling objects other than lifting.  

 &gt; On-line Manual Task resources have supported access to expertise and information to facilitate safe manual task 
handling resulting in a 7 per cent reduction in new musculo-skeletal claims in comparison to 2014-15.

 &gt; Following psychological strategic interventions, there has been a 25 per cent reduction in the number of new 
psychological claims in comparison to 2014-15.

 &gt; Worksite safety inspections continue to be conducted; combined with the use of signage the inspections address 
slips, trips and falls prevention in the workplace. A small decrease in the number of new clams in this area was 
achieved.

 &gt; Current strategies for work related injury management include a focus on early intervention, new lost time injury 
claims, complex and costly claims job readiness and job seeking. A work related injury notification hotline has been 
maintained to streamline reporting and ensure early intervention.

Table 10 - Work Health and Safety prosecutions, notices and corrective action taken

Number of notifiable incidents pursuant to WHS Act Part 3 2

Number of notices served pursuant to WHS Act Section 90, Section 191 and 
Section 195 (Provisional improvement, improvement and prohibition notices)

0

Number of prosecutions pursuant to WHS Act Part 2 Division 5 0

Number of enforceable undertakings pursuant to WHS Act Part 11 0

There were two notifiable incidents in 2015-16 in the department.

One notifiable incident involved an employee receiving an electrical shock during equipment checking using an 
electronic test multimeter. The electronic test multimeter was sent away to an external equipment calibration and 
test provider, and it passed the test and was in good order. Investigation ruled out equipment fault. The cause was 
possibly due to accidental touch of metal.

The second notifiable incident was as a result of a light diffuser cover falling from the ceiling. The investigation found 
that the cover fell as a result of being made of thin material and it not sitting centrally in the fitting. This made it 
prone to sagging before falling out. It is noted that a change in air pressure when opening and closing the meeting 
room door also contributed to the incident. A thicker light diffuser cover is now in place throughout the building and 
will be monitored through worksite inspections.   



page 42 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Table 11   Work Health and Safety Performance (Building Safety Excellence Targets)

Total new workplace injury claims 29

Significant injuries   where lost time exceeds one working week
(expressed as frequency rate per 1000 FTE)

3.16

Significant musculoskeletal injuries   where lost time exceeds one working 
week (expressed as frequency rate per 1000 FTE)

2.71

Significant psychological injuries   where lost time exceeds one working week 
(expressed as frequency rate per 1000 FTE)

0.45

Note: Information available from the Self Insurance Management System.

Table 12   Agency gross workers compensation expenditure for 2015-16 compared with 2014-15

Expenditure
2015-16  

($)
2014-15  

($)
Variation 

($) + (-)
% Change 

+ (-)

Income support $393 395 $389 323 $4 072 1.0%

Hospital $54 921 $24 821 $30 100 121.3%

Medical $163 733 $214 110 -$50 377 -23.5%

Rehabilitation/return to work $8 994 $43 116 -$34 122 -79.1%

Investigations $18 621 $23 215 -$4 595 -19.8%

Legal expenses $74 445 $71 505 $2 940 4.1%

Lump Sum $875 761 $653 342 $222 419 34.0%

Travel $4 102 $5 291 -$1 189 -22.5%

Other $77 654 $46 720 $30 933 66.2%

Total Claim Expenditure $1 671 625 $1 471 443 $200 181 13.6%

Note: Expenditure before 3rd party recovery.  Information available from the Self Insurance Management System.



page 43Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993
The Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 (WP Act) provides an opportunity for public interest information to be 
disclosed to a responsible officer of SA Health.

On 14 December 2015, a revised SA Health Whistleblowers Protection Policy Directive was released. A series of 
resources were developed to assist responsible officers of SA Health to effectively progress public interest disclosures 
consistent with legislative requirements. 

SA Health is further participating in the  Whistling While They Work  research of organisational processes and 
procedures in the public and private sector, led by Griffith University in partnership with the South Australian 
Ombudsman and Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.

Pursuant to Section 7 of the Public Sector Act 2009, the following responsible officers have been appointed by SA 
Health for the purposes of receiving disclosures under the WP Act:

 &gt; Chief Executive, SA Health.

 &gt; Executive Director, People and Culture, System Performance and Service Delivery. 

 &gt; Group Director, Risk and Assurance Services. 

 &gt; Chief Executive Officers of LHNs and SAAS.

 &gt; Executive Director, Statewide Clinical Support Services.

 &gt; Directors of Workforce or equivalent positions in the department, LHNs, Statewide Clinical Support Services and SAAS.

In 2015-16 there was one occasion on which public interest was disclosed to a responsible officer of the department 
under the WP Act. The matter was managed in accordance with the WP Act, the Independent Commissioner Against 
Corruption Act 2012 and the Whistleblowers Protection Policy Directive.

Fraud
The SA Health Fraud and Corruption Control Policy Directive and Plan aligns procedures for the identification and 
reporting of fraud and corruption with the South Australian Public Sector Fraud and Corruption Control Policy which 
was released in January 2016.

No confirmed cases of fraud were identified during 2015-16.



page 44 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Carers Recognition Act 2005
The Carers Recognition Act 2005 requires all South Australian Government agencies to ensure that their organisation 
and its employees take action to reflect the principles of the Carers Charter in the provision of services to carers and 
the people they care for. South Australian Government portfolio Chief Executives are required to report annually on 
their progress.

In 2015-16, the department s progress in implementing the Carers Recognition Act 2005 included:

 &gt; The October 2015 release of the new Partnering with Carers Policy Directive which recognises and supports carers 
and their roles. The Policy Directive was developed in partnership with Carers SA, the Health Consumers Alliance SA 
and with carers.

 &gt; A Partnering with Carers web page was also established with resources to be added as developed.

 &gt; Meeting quarterly and working collaboratively in partnering with Carers SA.

 &gt; The Partnering with Carers Strategic Action Plan 2016-19 and a Framework for Active Partnership with Consumers 
and the Community were established with work to be undertaken with LHNs during 2016-17 to implement the 
Action Plan.

 &gt; A Partnering with Carers Communication Strategy is being developed to address carer feedback/complaints 
management, carer engagement and to raise staff awareness in relation to carers and family involvement in 
decision making.

Disability Access and Inclusion Plans  
In 2015-16, the department s progress in supporting disability access and inclusion activities included:

 &gt; Further development of the overarching Disability Access and Inclusion Plan within which the LHNs and the SAAS 
Plans will apply.

 &gt; Significant progress has been made by LHNs and the SAAS to complete their Disability Access and Inclusion Plans.

 &gt; Developing, reviewing and identifying opportunities to improve SA Health policies, procedures and facilities to 
ensure that they promote inclusion and participation of people with a disability.



page 45Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Sustainability Reporting

Capital Projects 
Energy efficiency targets and minimum performance standards and processes are developed for all SA Health capital 
projects with a budget of greater than $2m. These include:

 &gt; New build projects undergo energy modelling during the design phase to achieve a selected design with a 
minimum of 40 per cent more energy efficiency per square metre than the minimum energy efficiency standards 
prescribed in the Australian Building Code. Progress against the energy efficiency targets established for each 
project is routinely monitored throughout the project lifecycle. 

 &gt; A minimum of four different heating, ventilation and air-conditioning options are subject to a comprehensive  
Life-cycle Analysis to determine the best value solution from a triple bottom line perspective. 

Solar Photovoltaics 
The South Australian Solar Panels for Government Funded Building Projects Policy requires that all new or 
substantially refurbished government-owned buildings must have a minimum of 5 kW of solar PV panels installed. 
During 2015-16, SA Health installed an additional 30 kW of Solar Photovoltaics. SA Health now has 426 kW (1840 
panels) of installed capacity producing approximately 588 000 kWh per annum.

Reducing Maximum Demand for Electricity
SA Health s 98 largest facilities are on  demand tariffs  for electricity supplies. A significant proportion of the cost of 
each utility bill is determined by reference to that facility s maximum demand for electricity. SA Health continues to 
actively manage maximum demand to reduce energy costs. 

During 2015-16, SA Health successfully negotiated with South Australia Power Networks to reduce the maximum 
electrical demand levels established at 13 SA Health facilities by 1968 KVa providing annual savings of $198 083 per 
annum.

Fleet Vehicles
A vehicle replacement strategy continues to be applied where large six cylinder vehicles are replaced with more cost 
effective and fuel efficient four cylinder vehicles. This strategy has been expanded to review vehicle requirements 
and where vehicle retention is justified, vehicles with the maximum ANCAP 5 Star Safety Rating are leased wherever 
possible.

As a result, vehicle numbers have decreased from 1709 on 1 July 2015 to 1656 vehicles at 30 June 2016. Vehicles 
with the maximum ANCAP 5 Star Safety Rating now account for 1554 vehicles (94 per cent) of the fleet.

These strategies have contributed to a decrease in total fleet size and improvement in fleet mix. SA Health continues 
to work closely with LeasePlan and SAFA-Fleet SA on initiatives to further improve the performance of the SA Health 
fleet.



page 46 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Urban Design Charter
The South Australian Urban Design Charter is a whole-of-government urban policy that commits government 
agencies to achieve good urban design. It requires the designs for public places and their interaction with private 
buildings and spaces to reinforce the urban environment as liveable, efficient, creative, sustainable and socially 
inclusive.

SA Health continues to integrate the principles and objectives contained in the Charter into master planning works 
that underpin all major redevelopment projects, and the concept development and design work undertaken for all 
new capital works projects.

In addition, SA Health continues to collaborate with the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure on 
capital works projects, inclusive of input from the Office for Design and Architecture SA who provides assistance to 
state agencies in meeting the Urban Design Charter objectives.

Examples include:

 &gt; The new RAH and surrounding health precinct.

 &gt; Projects being developed as part of the Transforming Health initiative.

 &gt; Redevelopment work at major country hospitals in Victor Harbor and Port Lincoln.

 &gt; Redevelopment work transitioning the LMH into a major tertiary hospital.

 &gt; Various new facilities for SAAS.

Regional Impact Assessments
There has been no requirement for SA Health to prepare a Regional Impact Statement during 2015-16.



page 47Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Financial Performance

Use of Consultants

There were 42 consultancies undertaken in the Department for Health and Ageing during 2015-16 with total 
expenditure of $21 093 000 (as at 30 June 2016). 

Table 13   Consultancies in 2015-16

Range Number of Consultants Total Expenditure 2015-16

Below $10 000 4 $18 000

Above $10 000 38 $21 075 000

Total 42 $21 093 000

Table 14 - Individual Consultancies with Total Expenditure above $10 000

Consultant Names Purpose of Consultancy (Summary of the services for which they  
were engaged)

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Provide advice and support in the planning, design, implementation and review 
of the Transforming Health Program.

Ernst and Young Provide advice, guidance and assurance services to the Transforming Health 
Board.

The Calcutta Group Assess the feasibility of the co-location of a private hospital on the new Royal 
Adelaide Hospital site.

Ernst and Young Develop and implement a strategic procurement process. 

KPMG Develop options, costing and an implementation plan for a more efficient 
operating and governance structure within Northern Adelaide LHN Mental 
Health services.

Ernst and Young Appraise options for providing ophthalmology activities.

Deloitte Access Economics Pty 
Ltd

Develop a project plan for the cost-benefit analysis and a performance model 
for Aged Care Assessment Programme.

Hardes &amp; Associates Provide inpatient activity projection model for future demand and supply of 
acute hospital services.

South Australian Health and 
Medical Research Institute 
Limited

Develop a strategy and implementation plan to enable the statewide cardiac 
clinical network to provide best practice cardiovascular care for Aboriginal 
people.

Supply Chain Services Australia Provide technical expertise and recommendations for the upgrade of the  
SA Health logistics supply chain systems and processes.

South Australian Health and 
Medical Research Institute 
Limited

Develop a statewide Aboriginal diabetes health care strategy.

Carramar Consulting Pty Ltd Develop a business case for the co-location of a private hospital and the 
relocation of the WCH to the new RAH site.

continued



page 48 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Table 14: Individual Consultant with Total Expenditure above $10,000 - continued

Consultant Names Purpose of Consultancy (Summary of the services for which they  
were engaged)

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Provide guidance in the setup and use of QuickBase application for the 
Transforming Health project planning.

University of New South Wales Analyse quantitative data to assist in the evaluation of the Crisis Respite services.

South Australian Health and 
Medical Research Institute 
Limited

Provide an analysis of the effectiveness of the implementation of Closing the 
Gap programs.

The Calcutta Group Provide governance, mobilisation and implementation planning services for the 
Transforming Health Program.

Liquid Pacific Holdings Pty Ltd Undertake a triennial revaluation of nominated assets within the Department for 
Health and Ageing, SAAS, Country Health SA LHN and the Country Health SA 
LHN Health Advisory Councils.

Gould Thorpe Planning Pty Ltd Preparation of a comprehensive communication and community engagement 
plan for the Transforming Health Program.

Australian Valuation Services Undertake a triennial revaluation of nominated assets within the Southern 
Adelaide LHN, Central Adelaide LHN and Northern Adelaide LHN.

Leidos Pty Ltd Provide advice on the EPAS program.

Aurecon Australasia Pty Ltd Advice on preparing the Repatriation General Hospital site for sale.

Associate Professor John 
Vincent Basson

Evaluation of the Northern Adelaide LHN Forensic Mental Health service Step 
Down Rehabilitation service (known as Ashton House).

BDO Advisory (SA) Pty Ltd Comparison and assessment of Rights of Private Practice arrangements and 
approaches against equivalent public sector health jurisdictions.

Mercer Consulting (Australia) 
Pty Ltd

Long Service Leave actuarial valuation as at 30 June 2015 for all SA Health 
entities.

Ernst and Young Review the assumptions used by SA Health in determining the costs and 
benefits of the CHRIS 21 project.

The Checkley Group Evaluation of the EPAS and Central Adelaide LHN Go-Live readiness.

Dr Iolanda Principe Scope, identify and prioritise the health system issues in South Australia's 
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities.

Jenny Pearson &amp; Associates 
Pty Ltd

Evaluation of the pilot Elder Abuse Prevention Phone Line.

Seaview Corporate Services Provide an assessment to determine the impact of Acute 24 (overnight services) 
on emergency departments, SAAS and the South Australian Police.

C3 Business Solutions Pty Ltd Review the Identity Management technology options.

Dr Sonia Allan Review the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988.

Michele Herrot Health 
Promotion Consulting

Review of the Population Research and Outcomes Studies contract and 
investigation of alternate market options.

Henderson Logistics Pty Ltd Review and develop third party logistics (3PL) model for logistics and supply 
chain management.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal Provide tax advice relating to the distribution of intellectual property royalties.



page 49Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Consultant Names Purpose of Consultancy (Summary of the services for which they  
were engaged)

Professor Villis Marshall Review of the incorrect dosing of Cytarabine to patients with acute myeloid 
leukaemia at the RAH and FMC.

Knight Frank Valuations Valuation on the Repatriation General Hospital site at Daw Park.

Human Capital International 
Pty Ltd

Assist in the organisational development of procurement governance and 
business services.

Cornerstone Strategic Pty Ltd Prepare and facilitate the Portfolio Executive workshop. 

Contractual Arrangements
DPC Circular 27   Disclosure of Government Contracts requires SA Health to disclose procurement contracts on the 
SA Tenders and Contracts website found at www.tenders.sa.gov.au

The  Contracts Browse  page where SA Health discloses contracts is accessed directly via:  
https://www.tenders.sa.gov.au/tenders/contract/list.do?showSearch=false&amp;action=contract-search-
submit&amp;issuingBusinessId=171

Employee Overseas Travel
Travel, including overseas travel is an important part of SA Health s business, allowing employees to participate in 
professional development opportunities including attending and presenting at leading edge conferences, seminars 
and workshops. Employees are supported through investment in training and development and SA Health is 
committed to the ongoing professional development of Medical Officers through the relevant industrial instruments.

Overseas travel allows the sharing of knowledge from one jurisdiction to another and is an opportunity for employees 
to advance SA Health s priorities and benefit the South Australian public health system by improving services. 

Information on overseas travel acquitted by departmental employees during 2015-16 is available at  
www.sahealth.sa.gov.au.







page 50 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Independent  
Auditor s Report

Certification of the Financial Statements



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Appendix 1   Legislation Committed to Health 
Ministers as at 30 June 2016

Minister for Health 

Advance Care Directives Act 2013

Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 1988

Blood Contaminants Act 1985

Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act 1995

Food Act 2001

Gene Technology Act 2001

Health and Community Services Complaints Act 2004

Health Care Act 2008

Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (South Australia) Act 2010

Health Professionals (Special Events Exemption) Act 2000

Health Services Charitable Gifts Act 2011

Motor Vehicle Accidents (Lifetime Support Scheme) Act 2013

Mount Gambier Hospital Hydrotherapy Pool Fund Act 2009

National Health Funding Pool Administration (South Australia) Act 2012

Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2003

Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2003

Safe Drinking Water Act 2011

South Australian Public Health Act 2011

Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1983

Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Controlled Substances Act 1984

Mental Health Act 2009

Public Intoxication Act 1984

Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997

Minister for Ageing

Aged Citizens Clubs (Subsidies) Act 1963

Office for the Ageing Act 1995

Retirement Villages Act 1987



page 163Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Appendix 2   Hospitals
Hospitals incorporated under the Health Care Act 2008 as at 30 June 2016.

Name Date of incorporation

Central Adelaide Local Health Network incorporated (CALHN Inc) 1 July 2010

Northern Adelaide Local Health Network incorporated (NALHN Inc) 1 July 2011

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network incorporated (SALHN Inc) 1 July 2011

Country Health SA Local Health Network incorporated (CHSALHN Inc) 15 May 2008

Women s and Children s Health Network incorporated (WCHN Inc) 26 February 2004



page 164 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Appendix 3   Boards and Committees as at  
30 June 2016
The Boards and Committees Information System (BCIS) is the central register of South Australian Boards and 
Committees assigned to a Ministerial portfolio.

On 30 October 2014 the Premier tabled his final report on the statewide reform on government boards and 
committees. To deliver the outcomes identified in the report, the Statutes Amendment (Boards and Committees 
  Abolition and Reform Act 2015 was brought into operation on 1 July 2015 with some boards and committees 
abolished and others reclassified as no longer being a government board or committee to be reported on BCIS.

There are no boards or committees currently assigned to the Minister for Ageing on BCIS.

Responsible to the Minister for Health 

Boards and Committees (BCIS)

End of Life Ministerial Advisory Committee (concluded May 2016)

Expert Review Panel of the Lifetime Support Authority

Health Performance Council

Lifetime Support Authority of South Australia Board

Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia Regional Board of the Psychology Board of Australia 

Pharmacy Regulation Authority SA 

South Australian Board of the Medical Board of Australia

South Australian Board of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

South Australian Health Practitioners Tribunal

South Australian Public Health Council

Health Advisory Councils (BCIS)

Incorporated*

Central Adelaide Local Health Network Governing Council Inc

Country Health SA Local Health Network Governing Council Inc

Northern Adelaide Local Health Network Governing Council Inc

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network Governing Council Inc

Women s and Children s Health Network Governing Council Inc

* Incorporated names:

CENTRAL ADELAIDE LOCAL HEALTH NETWORK HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL INC

NORTHERN ADELAIDE LOCAL HEALTH NETWORK HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL INC

SOUTHERN ADELAIDE LOCAL HEALTH NETWORK HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL INC

WOMEN S AND CHILDREN S HEALTH NETWORK HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL INC

COUNTRY HEALTH SA LOCAL HEALTH NETWORK BOARD HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL INC.

Incorporated

Balaklava Riverton Health Advisory Council Inc

Barossa and Districts Health Advisory Council Inc

Berri Barmera District Health Advisory Council Inc

Bordertown and District Health Advisory Council Inc

Ceduna District Health Services Health Advisory Council Inc

Coorong Health Service Health Advisory Council Inc

Eastern Eyre Health Advisory Council Inc



page 165Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Eudunda Kapunda Health Advisory Council Inc

Gawler District Health Advisory Council Inc

Health Services Charitable Gifts Board 

Hills Area Health Advisory Council Inc

Kangaroo Island Health Advisory Council Inc

Kingston/Robe Health Advisory Council Inc

Lower Eyre Health Advisory Council Inc

Lower North Health Advisory Council Inc

Loxton and Districts Health Advisory Council Inc

Mallee Health Service Health Advisory Council Inc

Mannum District Hospital Health Advisory Council Inc

Mid North Health Advisory Council Inc

Mid-West Health Advisory Council Inc

Millicent and Districts Health Advisory Council Inc

Mount Gambier and Districts Health Advisory Council Inc

Murray Bridge Soldiers  Memorial Hospital Health Advisory Council Inc

Naracoorte Area Health Advisory Council Inc

Northern Yorke Peninsula Health Advisory Council Inc

Penola and Districts Health Advisory Council Inc

Port Broughton District Hospital and Health Services Health Advisory Council Inc

Renmark Paringa District Health Advisory Council Inc

South Coast Health Advisory Council Inc

Waikerie and Districts Health Advisory Council Inc

Yorke Peninsula Health Advisory Council Inc

Unincorporated

Ethics Health Advisory Council 

Far North Health Advisory Council

Hawker District Memorial Health Advisory Council

Health and Medical Research Advisory Council 

Leigh Creek Health Services Health Advisory Council

Port Augusta, Roxby Downs, Woomera Health Advisory Council

Port Lincoln Health Advisory Council

Port Pirie Health Service Advisory Council

Quorn Health Services Health Advisory Council

SA Ambulance Service Volunteers  Health Advisory Council

South Australian Medical Education and Training Health Advisory Council

Southern Flinders Health Advisory Council

Veterans  Health Advisory Council

Whyalla Hospital and Health Services Health Advisory Council

Other boards and committees reporting to the Minister for Health:

Lifetime Support Authority of South Australia Board - Applications and Rules Committee

Lifetime Support Authority of South Australia Board - Audit Committee

Lifetime Support Authority of South Australia Board - Finance and Investment Committee

Health Services Charitable Gifts Board



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Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Boards and Committees (BCIS)

Controlled Substances Advisory Council

Prescribers Advisory Council



page 167Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Acronyms and Glossary of Terms

Acronyms

BBV  Blood Borne Virus 

BCIS  Boards and Committees Information System

COAG Council of Australian Governments

CPS  Child Protection Services

ED  Emergency Department

EPAS  Enterprise Patient Administration System

ESMI  Enterprise System for Medical Imaging

FMC  Flinders Medical Centre

ICT  Information and communication technology

LHN  Local Health Network

LMH  Lyell McEwin Hospital

MOU  Memorandum of Understanding

NPA  National Partnership Agreement

OFTA  Office for the Ageing

PHN  Primary Health Network

RAH  Royal Adelaide Hospital

RSL  Returned and Services League

SAAS  SA Ambulance Service

SAHMRI South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute

STI  Sexually Transmissible Infection

TQEH  The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

WCH  Women s and Children s Hospital

WCHN Women s and Children s Health Network

WHSIM Work Health Safety and Injury Management

YPG  Young Professionals Group



page 168 Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Glossary of Terms

Chronic disease

A disease that persists for a long period of time.

Clinician

A generic term to describe a wide range of health professionals.

Department for Health and Ageing

The public sector agency (administrative unit) established under the Public Sector Act 2009 with responsibility for the 
policy, administration and operation of South Australia s public health system.

General Practitioner

A medical practitioner/doctor who works in primary health care and refers patients to specialist medical care.

Health System

All health services provided to the people of South Australia.

Local Health Network

An incorporated hospital under the Health Care Act 2008 with responsibility for the planning and delivery of health 
services. The Local Health Networks for South Australia are: Central Adelaide Local Health Network, Northern 
Adelaide Local Health Network, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, Country Health SA Local Health Network 
and the Women s and Children s Health Network. 

Primary Health Care

Often the first point of contact a person has with the health system, such as general practice, community nurses, 
pharmacists, social workers and other health providers. Primary health care is both an approach to dealing with 
health issues as well as a level of health service. It can include a range of strategies from health promotion, health 
protection, disease prevention, advocacy, social action and community development.

SA Health

South Australian public health system, services and agencies, comprising Department for Health and Ageing, Central 
Adelaide Local Health Network, Northern Adelaide Local Health Network, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, 
Country Health SA Local Health Network and the Women s and Children s Health Network. 

Separations

The formal process by which a hospital records the completion of treatment and/or care for an admitted patient.



page 169Department for Health and Ageing Annual Report 2015-16

Index
Aboriginal Health 30

Acronyms 167

Administrative and Legislative Responsibilities 8

Boards and Committees (BCIS) 164

Carers Recognition Act 2005 44

Consumer Feedback 25

Contractual Arrangements 49

Department for Health and Ageing Strategic Direction 2016-18 9

Disability Access and Inclusion Plans   44

Disease surveillance and investigation 28

Drug and Alcohol Services  33

eHealth Systems 11

Employment Arrangements as at 30 June 2016 39

Enterprise Patient Administration System 11

Fraud  43

Governance  6

Health Workforce  37

Hospital Care 17

Independent Auditor s Report 50

Leadership and Management Development 37

Legislative Reviews 15

Mental Health Care  31

National Health Reform 16

New Royal Adelaide Hospital 10

Organisational Structure 6

Portfolio Deliverables  14

Premier s Economic Priorities 12

Premier s Strategic Priorities  13

Primary Health Care 23

Public and Environmental Health Protection 27

Public Health 26

Public Health Week 2016 26

Regional Impact Assessments 46

Safety and Quality 24

Sustainability Reporting 45

Transforming Health 9

Urban Design Charter 46

Use of Consultants 47

Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 43

Work Health and Safety and Injury Management 41

Year in Review - Highlights from the Interim Chief Executive 4



For more information 
Policy and Governance, Finance and Corporate Services 
Department for Health and Ageing
PO Box 287 Rundle Mall
Adelaide SA 5000
Telephone: +61 8 8226 0795
www.sahealth.sa.gov.au

Public: I4-A4.

  Department for Health and Ageing, Government of South Australia. 
All rights reserved. ISSN: 2201-0475  
FIS: 16127. Printed October 2016.

www.ausgoal.gov.au/creative-commons





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