I am pleased to present this year’s Annual Report for what has been an outstanding year of achievement for the National Health Funding Body (NHFB).
Appreciation and recognition
I would like to thank Michael Lambert, the Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool for his impeccable integrity, sound judgement and strong leadership throughout his first year in the role. I would like to thank my professional, agile and innovative team at the NHFB who really excelled over the last 12 months and finally, I would also like to thank all of our stakeholders and partners who have been instrumental in our success in 2018–19.
Outstanding 2018–19 achievements
I am proud to be leading an independent agency that delivers best practice financial administration of $50 billion in public hospital funding across Australia. Together with the Administrator we finalised the outstanding annual reconciliations for 2016–17 and 2017–18, providing States and Territories with an additional $1 billion in payments in 2018–19 through the National Health Funding Pool.
The 2017–18 Budget provided the NHFB with additional funding of $4.2 million over three years to complete key projects. At the end of 2018–19, we delivered an improved Commonwealth Contribution Model (CCM), an enhanced website (publichospitalfunding.gov.au) as well as progressing development work on a new payments system and further funding integrity through the data matching proof of concept.
We worked with our independent Audit and Risk Committee to improve our approach to organisational performance reporting, financial management, risk management and oversight and, audit and assurance.
Innovation in 2018–19
Innovation has been a core element of our strategic direction and our achievements in 2018–19. Our ability to embrace new technology as part of our digital transformation agenda has supported us to streamline business transactions, save money and create space for strategic priorities.
Preparing for the future
One of the key challenges for the future is the implementation of a new five year National Health Reform (NHR) Agreement which will shape the future of health reform and public hospital funding. The Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments are committed to implementing a new agreement by 1 July 2020 for the period 2020–21 to 2024–25.
For 2019–20 and beyond our focus is also on strengthening our leadership, culture, and organisational capabilities to deliver our core calculate, pay and report functions. We will continue to invest in our people through learning and development. We will increasingly leverage our service level agreements to ensure our limited resources are focused on our highest priorities.
Collaboration is vital for our success, both internally and externally. I look forward to working with Michael Lambert, our stakeholders and partners, and my professional team in achieving further success in 2019–20.