LGH patient costs cut 10 per cent

NORTHERN Tasmania’s major public hospital has cut patient costs by 10 per cent to take it close to tough new national pricing guidelines.

New Tasmanian health purchasing chief executive Mike Pervan told a government budget estimates hearing yesterday that the Launceston General Hospital’s performance had been outstanding.

Mr Pervan said that all three of the state’s major public hospitals had achieved significant price reductions since the previous financial year but the LGH’s had been very close to the national average.

The surprise news comes nearly 12 months after a new activity based public health structure was introduced as part of national health reforms.

There has been concern expressed since the start of the new regime that Tasmania would never achieve the national pricing benchmarks.

LGH chief executive John Kirwan said the hospital had seen a significant improvement in its costing from 2011-12 and knew that it was on target to come close to the national benchmarks this financial year.

His plan is for the LGH to be more efficient than the national average so that it creates capacity for extra activity.

“It has been a lot of hard work but we now have a very good handle on what jobs cost,” Mr Kirwan said.

“We have identified all costs whether it’s in nursing, allied health, medical or pharmacy.

“We believe that we will do even better as we become more efficient and national pricing comes down when other states start costing properly.”

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