The annual Report on Government Services (RoGS) was released progressively over late January and early February. The report provides an evaluation on the performance and delivery of important services by governments in Australia and provides interesting comparative data on how Tasmania performs relative to the rest of the country.
Part E on Health highlights Tasmania’s high and rising rate of potentially preventable hospitalisations for chronic conditions, which in 2018-19 was 13 per 1000 people compared to 12.2 Australia-wide. The data shows that Tasmania also continues to have the highest rate of people delaying or not accessing medical care and prescriptions, and the lowest bulk-billing rates in the nation. You can read more about preventable hospitalisations in our 2020-21 Budget Priority Statement: Preventing hospitalisations in Tasmania.
Part F on Community Services — Child Protection showed that Tasmania has the nation’s lowest rate of children in the child protection system with current documented case plans at 73.3%, compared to the national average of 88.4%. It also showed that Tasmania performs slowly on investigations with the lowest proportion of investigations commenced within seven days and the highest proportion of investigations requiring more than 90 days to complete. For Aboriginal children in care, the rate of placement with a relative, other Aboriginal carer, or Aboriginal residential care is 46.5%, the second-lowest rate behind the Northern Territory and well behind the national average of 64.5%.
Part F on Community Services — Aged Care indicates that government spending on aged care services per person in Tasmania is the lowest in the nation. This equates to roughly $390 less per person than the national average. Median wait times for access to aged care services have grown from 63 days in 2015-16 to 148 in 2019-20, an increase of 135%. More than 40% of people are now waiting longer than nine months for entry into an aged care service, compared to 25% in 2015-16.
Part G on Housing and Homelessness revealed that Tasmania has seen a much welcome increase in spending on social housing. Spending grew by 32.6% per capita to $273.14. This was the second largest increase across Australia and much higher than to the average of 4.2% nationally. However, despite this welcome funding Tasmania still has the highest proportion of clients experiencing repeat periods of homelessness at 7.6%, compared with 5.3% nationally.
There is a lot of data available in the RoGS reports which is likely to be relevant to our members across the community services industry. TasCOSS has compiled selected data in overview summaries on the service areas mentioned above and others, including: Child Care, Education and Training, Justice and Emergency Management. If you are a TasCOSS Member and would like access to these overviews to help inform your work or advocacy, please contact Dr Charlie Burton, Manager Policy, via email.