National Health Reform


Tasmanian Health Organisation Act 2011

The Tasmanian Health Organisations Act 2011 has now been passed by both Houses of Parliament. This is a major milestone for the Health Reform project and gives certainty to the implementation and transition phase over the next 6-7 months, and beyond 1 July 2012.

The Act provides the mechanism to establish three Tasmanian Health Organisations (THOs) in Tasmania, which are required to be established and operational by 1 July 2012 under the National Health Reform Agreement. The Act outlines the powers and functions of THOs, Governing Councils and their CEOs and sets up the governance arrangements.

Each THO will be a separate legal entity (Statutory Authority) under State legislation in order to devolve operational management for public hospitals to the local level. This will mean a major shift in the way services are funded and delivered in Tasmania, and will enable THOs to be the direct managers of public hospitals and be held directly accountable for hospital performance.

THOs will be free to determine their own day-to-day operational matters without interference from the Minister or Department, but in return their governing councils will be accountable for how they deliver services and how they spend taxpayer dollars in doing so.

An amendment moved in the Upper House to table copies of the Service Agreement, Corporate Plan and Annual Business Plan was supported in both Houses by the Government, as a way of increasing transparency.

The Act confirms the State Government's commitment to reforming the Tasmanian health care system, to ensure our services are operating as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

For more detailed information regarding the Tasmanian Health Organisations Act 2011, please contact the National Health Reform Team by emailing

National Health Reform Agreement

All States and Territories have now signed the National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA), which formalises the changes made to the original agreement signed in February this year.

These reforms build on changes Tasmania has been putting in place through Tasmania's Health Plan, to make sure we can meet rising demand for good quality healthcare in the next decade and beyond.

We now have a solid framework to implement in Tasmania and the changes will mean a much more sustainable health system across Australia.

The national health reforms will deliver a nationally unified, but locally managed health system.

The agreement delivers a reform to the way public hospital services are funded and will see the Commonwealth increase its funding share.

The reforms will see the establishment of three 'Tasmanian Health Organisations' (THOs) and a Primary Healthcare Organisation known as a 'Medicare Local' as new structures to help run our health care system.

These health reforms respond to the major challenges facing the health and hospital system, including:

  • the growth and ageing of the population;
  • community expectations of hospital waiting times;
  • overlapping responsibilities and lack of coordination and integration of service systems that lead to patients 'falling through the cracks';
  • gaps in the provision of primary health care services;
  • high and increasing rates of chronic disease; and
  • the need to improve efficiency to give confidence that health and hospital funding goes as far as possible.

Click on this link to view the new Health Reform Agreement

Benefits that Tasmania receives from the national health reform

The new arrangement provides more certainty and more money for Tasmania's health system which should lead to a more effective health system that meets the health needs of the Tasmanian community.

Tasmania will receive an estimated total of $350 million in growth funding over the period 1 July 2014 -1 July 2020.

Hospital services will be run at a local community level through the establishment of
Tasmanian Health Organisations, making them more responsive to local needs.

The reforms are about strengthening services, putting them on a more sustainable footing and supporting the workforce that is delivering them.

The reforms will increase local control and management of health care - to ensure decisions are being made as close to the patient as possible.

Contact us

If you have any questions or comments about the implementation of the national health reforms in Tasmania, they can be emailed to or mailed to:

The Manager
National Health Reform Implementation Team
Department of Health and Human Services
GPO Box 125

Latest updates

Tasmanian Health Organisations chair appointed

Health Reform Newsletter - October 2011

Consultation on draft Tasmanian Health Organisations Bill - Key Issues Paper

Tasmanian Health Organisations draft Bill



Relevant links