Jul 23
Health District Announces Financial Improvements

Western NSW Local Health District has announced a significant improvement in its financial position for 2013/14. In a massive turnaround, the Health District has almost come in on budget for the last financial year, down from a $19.5million deficit in 2012-13.

Dr Robin Williams, Chair of Western NSW Board and Chief Executive Scott McLachlan said they are delighted to announce that the Health District has ended the financial year with less than $500,000 deficit, which in context of its $800M budget is a tremendous achievement.

“This is a good result for the District and puts us in the right position to focus on developing and delivering sustainable world-class care as close to people’s homes as possible in western NSW,” said Dr Williams “I want to acknowledge everyone who works in our organisation for their contribution to achieving this result,” he said.

Western NSW Local Health District has undergone major transformational change in the last 18 months, with a vision to become a sustainable leader in rural health delivery.

Mr McLachlan said, “I am proud of the innovation, dedication and resilience that I see each and every day as I visit services across the District.”

A variety of strategies were developed to ensure the Health District improved its financial situation and sustainability into the future including the launch of Strategic Health Service’s Plan 2013-2016 and the establishment of a Sustainability Taskforce to look at ways the District could better support high quality and local service delivery while delivering value for the community.

Savings were made by employing permanent doctors and nurses and relying less on locum and agency resources and reducing staff costs for travel, accommodation and vehicles, as well as negotiating better prices for both services and supplies.

Dr Williams said, “As a local GP, I am committed to working with other local GPs and care providers to put into practice successful admission strategies that enable us to better support patients at home, free up beds for emergency patients and decrease the need for hospitalisation for patients with chronic illness by providing improved integrated care.”

Despite the financial improvement, the Health District is cautious about not becoming complacent and recognises the need to maintain its focus on living within its means knowing that health costs continue to increase and continual efficiencies will need to be found to be sustainable into the future.

Media Contact: Rebekah Bullock 0407 959 781