Media releases

May 15, 2007

Injection of funds to further improve quality of healthcare

Managing Director of the country's largest health fund, Mr. George Savvides, has called for further improvements in the level of quality and safety in Australian hospitals for some time.

Medibank Private, the fund Mr Savvides heads up, has today cemented a commitment of a total of $1.9 million to 74 quality and safety initiatives in 62 hospitals across the country.

Mr Savvides said he was encouraged by the response from over 120 hospitals seeking to participate in Medibank's 2007 quality and safety incentive pool.

The incentive pool, now in its second year, attracted almost a 50% increase in applications, over last year's numbers, as hospitals sought to secure funding to progress innovative quality and safety initiatives - and the successful hospitals have just been finalised.

Announcing the successful grant recipients Mr Savvides said the funding demonstrated Medibank's ongoing commitment to recognise and reward hospital teams who are committed to the further improvement in quality and safety of healthcare in Australia.

"What other health fund has committed this sort of funding specifically to working towards helping all Australians, not just our own members, experience a safer hospital experience and better health outcomes?" asked Mr Savvides.

"It's quite exciting that this incentive funding has again attracted so much interest from our hospital partners.

"Australia has some of the best quality of hospital care in the world, but my point is there is always room for improvement, and improvement and innovation should be supported, which is exactly where private health funds can play a fundamental role in change.

"Importantly, all of the adopted initiatives will be shared with the industry to ensure the lessons learnt will benefit more than a single hospital and therefore our incentive funding, we hope, will stretch a lot further in improving quality and safety across the country," Mr Savvides said.

Projects are funded for one year and tackle a wide range of clinical issues. Among the activities funded this year are projects designed to:

� prevent falls
� enhance medication management practices to reduce the number of medication errors
� reduce hospital acquired infections
� improve discharge processes to ensure patients have the care and support at home they need

Successful applicants will report on their progress during the year and evaluate the impact of their project once completed.


For further information please contact: Libby Woolnough - 0411 659 060

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