Department of Health (Australia)
|Department of Health|
|Preceding Department||Department of Health and Ageing|
|Jurisdiction||Commonwealth of Australia|
|Ministers responsible||Peter Dutton, Minister for Health and Minister for Sport
Fiona Nash, Assistant Minister for Health
|Department executive||Jane Halton, Secretary|
The Australian Department of Health is a department of the Government of Australia charged with the responsibility to oversee the running of Australia's health system, including supporting universal and affordable access to medical, pharmaceutical and hospital services, while helping people to stay healthy through health promotion and disease prevention activities.
The head of the department is the Secretary of the Department of Health, currently Jane Halton, who reports to the Minister for Health and the Minister for Sport, currently the Hon. Peter Dutton MP, and the Assistant Minister for Health, currently the Hon. Fiona Nash MP.
Mission and plan
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2010)|
The department's plan for the future include:
- Developing a coherent national health and ageing system.
- Using knowledge and information to deliver better services.
- Using integrated funding to deliver more effective services.
- Driving the system with the experience of the customer.
|This section relies on references to primary sources. (September 2010)|
The Department of Health was established in 1921 and has since undergone numerous changes to its name, structure and function. The first change happened in 1987 when the Department of Health was merged with the Department of Community Services in order to form the Department of Community Services and Health.
In June 1991, The Department of Health, Housing and Community Services was formed. This reflected the transfer of housing industry programs from the Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce to the Department of Community Services and Health. In March 1993 the Department of Local Government joined with the Department of Health, Housing and Community Services to form the Department of Health, Housing, Local Government and Community Services. Subsequently in 1994 the Department changed its name to the Department of Human Services and Health. Also in 1994, the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health was established.
When a new government was elected in March 1996, the Department's name changed to the Department of Health and Family Services. The department gained responsibility for the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program from the former Department of Housing and Regional Development. Later the department assumed responsibility for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health matters from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.
After the October 1998 election, the Department's name changed to the Department of Health and Aged Care to reflect its new responsibilities and functions. Responsibility for Family and Children's Services, Disability Programs and the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service were transferred to the Department of Family and Community Services on 22 October 1998.
Following the November 2001 election, the Department of Health and Aged Care changed its name to the Department of Health and Ageing. The name of the department was reverted to the Department of Health on 18 September 2013 by way of an Administrative Arrangements Order issued by the Governor-General of Australia on the recommendation of the Abbott Government.
|This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (October 2013)|
The Department of Health administers various health-related programs in partnership with Medicare Australia. As of 2005, these programs included:
- Medical Rural Bonded Scheme
- Office of Chemical Safety
- National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee
- Acute Care Division (ACD)
- Ageing and Aged Care Division (AACD)
- Audit and Fraud Control
- Business Group
- Health Workforce Division
- Medical Benefits Division (MBD)
- Mental Health and Chronic Disease Division
- Pharmaceutical Benefits Division (PBD)
- Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
- Office of Health Protection (OHP)
- Primary and Ambulatory Care Division (PACD)
- Population Health Division (PHD)
- Portfolio Strategies Division (PSD)
- Regulatory Policy & Governance Division (RPGD)
- State and Territory Offices
- Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
- "Abbott Ministry" (PDF). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- "Administrative Arrangements Order" (PDF). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013.