29/04/2020 | Stephen Wade MLC | Better Services

More South Australians will receive better health services in the comfort and privacy of their own home as the Marshall Liberal Government prepares to expand its home-based hospital care program.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the My Home Hospital program will help free up hospital beds and enhance the experience of patients who can be better managed and supported in the community.

“The Marshall Liberal Government made a commitment to increase and enhance out-of-hospital and community-based hospital alternatives”, Minister Wade said.

“This is the next step in delivering more appropriate patient care throughout the health system”.

As part of the Government’s rebalancing of the health system, last year South Australia’s major metropolitan LHNs partnered with non-government organisations to undertake four pilot projects testing elements of the new My Home Hospital service - all of which received positive results.

This type of service has shown its worth during the COVID-19 response as about 163 COVID-19 patients have been treated under current Hospital-in-the-Home (HITH)programs - receiving care at home rather than being admitted to a public hospital.

“The Marshall Liberal Government’s strong response to the COVID-19 threat has helped mitigate the spread of the disease. A key goal of our plan is to prepare for any scenario our health system may face,” Minister Wade said.

“If COVID-19 surges in South Australia, it is important that as many hospital beds as possible are available to deal with that threat and the My Home Hospital program would play a key part in doing that.”

“While some acute care can be provided safely and more efficiently in a home setting, in South Australia only 1.3 per cent of all acute hospital episodes now involve delivery of services in a home setting,” Minister Wade said.

“The My Home Hospital program will aim to have this number increase to almost five per cent, making South Australia a leader in home-based hospital care.”

Wellbeing SA Chief Executive, Lyn Dean, said My Home Hospital represents a significant shift in the way health services will be delivered across the state.

“Benefits of the program will include increased patient choice and satisfaction, a lower risk of hospital-based adverse events such as falls and infections, decreasing subsequent Emergency Department re-presentations and hospital admissions and easing accessibility for those requiring hospitalisation and ED treatment through better management of hospital capacity,” Ms Dean said.

“Eligible patients will be offered their care at home, but will have the option to be in hospital if they choose.

“In the first year of operation, some conditions that will be eligible for the program will include those with respiratory infections or inflammations, kidney, and urinary tract infections.

“We are excited about delivering this new way of caring for South Australians.”

An open procurement tender process for the delivery of the service opens today.

The service is expected to be operational by late 2020