Annual Report 2022-23 - Department for Health and Wellbeing


Chris Picton MP

Minister for Health and Wellbeing

This annual report will be presented to Parliament to meet the statutory reporting requirements of the Public Sector Act 2009, the Public Sector Regulations 2010, the Public Finance and Audit Act 1987 and the requirements of Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 Annual Reporting.

This report is verified to be accurate for the purposes of annual reporting to the Parliament of South Australia.

Submitted on behalf of the Department for Health and Wellbeing by:

Dr Robyn Lawrence
Chief Executive

From the Chief Executive

I am pleased to present the 2022-23 Annual Report for the Department for Health and Wellbeing, South Australia.

First and foremost, I would like to thank each and every person who has contributed to South Australia’s health system over the past twelve months. I acknowledge that our system is diverse and relies on our people and their wide ranging skills to ensure South Australian’s get the care they need, when they need it.

While being unbelievably busy providing high quality healthcare, I am incredibly proud of the work our people are doing to enhance the care our system will provide in the future. Examples of work that has been delivered during this financial year include:

  • Aboriginal Health Care Framework 2023-2031
  • Aboriginal Workforce Framework 2023-2031
  • Announcement of the New Women’s and Children’s Hospital site, Master Plan and “Block and Stack”
  • Coordination of Focus Week across the health system
  • First major increase to the Patient Assistance Transport Scheme in more than 20 years
  • Flood response in the Riverland, including the roll out of the Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine
  • Imbedding and enhancement of the SA Virtual Care Service
  • New Mount Barker Emergency Department opening with 17 treatment bays, 12 more than the old ED
  • New Safe Haven mental health service opening in Adelaide’s north

I do acknowledge that this year has again been challenging for the South Australian public health system. Demand on our system continues to grow – we are challenged with addressing the impact of our expanding and ageing population, the increasing burden of chronic disease and lack of access to primary healthcare services. However, progress towards the South Australian Government’s election commitments and on strengthening the positive partnerships we have with our primary health counter parts will go some way to addressing this increasing demand.

As with last year, one of our key priorities has been addressing ambulance response times and delayed transfer of care, or hospital ramping. Throughout 2022-23 we have started to see some better results, however, there is more work to be done. Strategies being investigated and implemented to improve access to our system include:

  • Increasing access to care in the community
  • Building our workforce
  • Strengthening our ambulance service
  • Improving our emergency departments
  • Boosting bed numbers
  • Getting people home sooner (with appropriate support)

This year we have experienced a recalibration of Australia’s health system and a transition to a new normal post the incredible emergency response established to minimise the impact of COVID-19. It is important to acknowledge the efforts of all healthcare workers over the past three years and the lasting impact this response may have on our workforce.

In my first year as Chief Executive for the Department for Health and Wellbeing, I want to recognise the hard work that has been done to sustain the South Australian health system – I look forward to continuing to work with the Local Health Networks, primary, private and not-for-profit sectors to ensure the best possible health care is provided to all South Australians.

Chief Executive
Department for Health and Wellbeing