Reports and publications (published elsewhere)

The overburden report: contracting for Indigenous health services

Posted on: 1 October, 2009
Issue: Vol 9 No 4, October 2009 - December 2009
Related to Health services

Dwyer J, O’Donnell K, Lavoie J, Marlina U, Sullivan P (2009)
The overburden report: contracting for Indigenous health services.
Darwin: Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health

In this report 145 Aboriginal community controlled health services were identified across Australia as providing comprehensive primary health care (PHC) and financial data from a representative sample of 21 agencies were analysed. The average income from the sample, indicated an annual income of $5 million dollars. The number of separate funding grants averaged 22 per service provider. The purpose of the report is to broaden the understanding of the enablers and limitations to providing effective PHC delivery within the current funding and accountability frameworks and how these arrangements can be improved.

The report suggests a number of principles that provide options for good practice:
• Long-term contracting for core PHC is the basis for the funder-provider relationship
• Core PHC funding allows flexibility for local priority setting, in accordance with agreed plans
• Data collection and monitoring are simplified and information is shared, based on sound performance and health outcome indicators
• Transaction costs are reduced and complexity is managed through a single long term contract and good contract management
• Risks for both sides are managed.

NB: Overburden is a mining industry term to refer to the soil, rock and other materials that must be removed to get to the ore. It is used within this report to mean the administrative work that has to be done by providers to acquire, manage, report on and account for the funding used to deliver services.

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