Big Changes in Country Health Coming | PSA Update

13 February 2019

PSA members would be aware the Government has decided to devolve the centralised health system, including shifting Country Health to be managed by six separate local health networks which will be governed by six separate boards. The process is moving very quickly with a proposed implementation date of 1 July 2019.

The PSA is committed to ensuring there is genuine consultation with members about this change. Clause 34 of the Enterprise Agreement is clear about the requirements to consult with the PSA and members.

In early February, a consultation paper was released about the high level structure of country health. The PSA has responded to this paper here.

There are significant implications arising from these proposed changes to the structure that will impact on members currently working for SA Health.

These include:

  •  The possibility of boards being the employer of staff rather than the Department of Health.This raises legal questions about whether staff will continue to be covered by the Enterprise Agreement and provisions under the Public Sector Act.
  •  Removal and/or transfer of staff from central country health offices.
  •  Hospitals acting autonomously which may lead to less professional collaboration and development and undermining of a state-wide focus in Aboriginal and Womens’ Health.
  • Possible implications for taxation if working across two sites and possible loss of salary sacrificing arrangements.

The PSA has been informed that the lower level operational structures will soon be out for consultation. When this occurs, the PSA will be seeking views from members.

The PSA will be representing members’ interests and the interests of a high quality country health system at key forums.