Describe about the Organizational Governance and Performance Management Assessment.
According to Oxford Learners Dictionary (2016), reform is a way of bringing a difference to an organization or any form of movement with the aim of improving or correcting it. It is to develop or amend unsatisfactory what is considered wrong. From the definition, health reform can be regarded as bringing changes in the health sector.
The mental health reform started its cause in 2011 during the implementation of the national health reform (Council of Australian Governments, 2011). The main aim was to increase the citizens’ access to improved and integrated mental health services. The change mainly targets young people who require mental health care especially those with severe mental illness. It was believed that the apart from the benefits that the mentally ill patients were to get, their caregivers were also to help regarding getting information about their patients. For the reform to be fully implemented, a budget of $624 million was allocated in the 2010-2011 budget of the Australian government to serve the proceeding five years (Mental Health, 2010).
Objectives of the reform
The mental health reform in Australia was started to meet particular targets. First, it was to provide more severe support services to people with brutal mental illness in a more coordinated manner. In so doing, the Commonwealth has since changed the primary health care delivery to psychologists and psychiatrists and the community care which are delivered by non-governmental organizations (Mendoza, 2015). It has also set new rules for the connection the Australian states.
Another objective of this reform was to aim at supporting areas with greater need of the mental health services like Aboriginal and the places underserved by the existing system using e-mental care. By the year 2011, some areas were not receiving appropriate services due to difficulty in access. This prompted a need for e-mental services to ensure those in need of mental services would collect them from wherever they were. In effect to this, the Australian government: Department of health (2012) announced that there would be a virtual clinic by the end of 2012 which was aimed at providing free and real-time counseling online and via telephones with trained counselors.
Thirdly, the reform had the objective of coming up with strategies for detecting possible mental illness at early stages and to support those already suffering from the disease, especially young people. As a way of reducing mental illness in Australia is was important they are detected at early stages so that those that are not terminal are eradicated before they get worse. The National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing did in 2000 had revealed that 14% of adolescents and children had mental illness in Australia (Australian Government: Department of health, 2014). There was, therefore, need to reduce this percentage as children are considered the future of the country and it is easier to reduce impacts at early stages.
Also, the reform wanted to decrease self-murder in Australia. The Commonwealth of Australia (2011) identified the highest percentage of suicide cases were as a result of mental illness. This was a challenge to the overall population of individual countries in Australia and therefore needed an immediate reaction. Commonwealth coordinated with the Primary health networks (PHN) which focused on providing evidence and activities which are suicide based and geared towards addressing peoples’ local needs (Delivering Reforms, 2011).
Lastly, the reform has the desire to incorporate openness, quality, and accountableness. The department of health of the Australian government realized in 2011 that the three aspects were missing in the existing system and as a result, people in need of the services could not get them at the right time (Australian Government: Department of health, 2012). It was of great importance that the affected and infected people had confidence in the reforms that were about to be delivered as they were one of the major stakeholders of the whole project. It was noted the existing program did not include customers’ satisfaction details which are essential in coming up with new developments in any field.
For full implementation of the reform, there were procedures put in place to ensure its success. For each objective, strategies were put in place for their complete effectiveness. In enhancing the outcome of mentally ill people, Commonwealth collaborated with other organizations like the Primary health networks (PHN) to promote manageable funding for such individuals. They also sought to have stakeholders’ involvement as they are the fundamental beneficiaries of the program. An implementation strategy was also put in place to ensure the reform was fully functional by the end of 2014. The mental health services at the community level were for instant expanded with the employment of more mentors and helpers.
In respect to empowering primary mental health services, the reform sought to increase access to the services to everyone including children and families who were in places difficult to reach. An e-mental program has been developed to cater for such people, and they can now get advice concerning their patients from wherever place at any time (Government of Australia Department of health, 2012). Practicing resources have since been developed to support those responsible for service delivery. The Medicare benefits schedule had changes made and was set to work as early as November of the same year, 2011.
The reform also had provision ensure shift toward care for children and adolescents with mental illness together with their families. The government started providing more youth mental health centers which help reduce the long queues that were in the few centers already available which were expected to be fully functional by 2015. More funds were also allocated for detection of mental illness at their initial stages especially to the youngsters. Mental check for three-year-olds was started in all the cities in Australia. The family health support was also to be expanded to help increase awareness to all citizens so that the reform was fully functional by 2014 (The Commonwealth of Australia, 2011)
The implementation of Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) concerned with the well-being and physical health of children was continued. It monitors the child’s behaviors ranging from how they play to the communication skills (Australian Early Development Index, 2012). This is important in detecting those who may have a mental disorder as normal children have a different growth behavior from the abnormal. Once this is detected early enough, the child can be given the right services at this time which at last can fully eliminate the mental illness.
There was also the formation of national partnership on mental health. The main aim of the company was to come up with feedback on the developed and to report back to the Council of Australian Governments (Government of Australia Department of health, 2012). This information was to be used in developing other reforms in future or in amending the existing one. In the partnership, the governments agreed to provide 50% fund to improve hospital services in the public sector. This was to cater for those with severe mental illness across all the states.
In improving the socio-economic community participation for people having the mental disease, the reform came up with the suggestion for raising employment opportunity for such people (Commonwealth of Australia, 2011). An online training portal for such people was developed, and human resource department was put on the front line in ensuring they employ such individuals perchance they apply. The online portals had job access portals which gave them the opportunity to know the available opportunities and apply for a post. For this to be effective, a review was conducted to identify the most effective system for wages considering the people to be employed mentally ill. The portal was, however, appropriate also for their caregivers.
In ensuring openness, quality, accountableness and innovation towards mental health services, commissioners were formed within the ministry in the prime minister’s department. It was realized the major stakeholders who are the individuals with the mental disease could lack confidence in the new reforms being made. The Commission, therefore, had the responsibility of consulting the individuals in relation to the national report card. To support the reform, there had to be relevant information and evidence regarding the same. This prompted the commission to come up with a framework for planning the national services and was to work up to 2013. The online services created were to have a frequent update to ensure they contained up to date information at all times (Government of Australia Department of health, 2012).
The reform also came up with strategies to improve firsthand services in support of those likely to commit suicide. With the help of the Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS), guidelines were developed to help to deal with the victims. In July 2012, the ATAPS developed a 24-hour, seven days a week support line for suicide prevention services. The communities with high risks of suicide cases were to be given support by the governments as a way of reducing the occurrences (Government of Australia Department of health, 2012).
The mental health reform of Australia 2011-12 focused mainly on those individuals with the severe mental disorder (Government of Australia Department of health, 2012). This left out the high number of people which are those with mild illness. To be fully effective, all the sick people regardless of the intensity should be catered for. It is those with little effects that end up being severe hence need to provide necessary services. Future reforms should, therefore, consider putting into consideration this group of people.
Instead of for the mentally ill patients especially youth to seek jobs using the online portal, the Australian government should look for these youths while still is school and provide them with appropriate services which may not necessarily cause them to leave school after all (Government of Australia Department of health, 2012). Future reforms should, therefore, focus more on providing a nationwide support structure in supporting the youth with mild mental illness.
With the current reform, it is possible that those without mental disorder be employed leaving the mentally ill individuals (Government of Australia Department of health, 2012). This is because there is no early identification of such people and that the severe mental sick people are not in a position to use the online portal. Future reforms should, therefore, come up with better methods of selecting jobs to the affected individuals which could involve a personal search for potential employees in their homes.
The reform did not indicate the criteria used by the employees regarding the selection of employees (Government of Australia Department of health, 2012). There may be some people with malicious intentions who may use the portal to their advantage to seek employment. Future reforms should, therefore, include provision for criteria for choosing the mentally sick patients for employment.
According to the Government of Australia Department of health (2012), the 2011-12 mental health reform does not provide sufficient monitoring and evaluation procedures. The reform did not outline the measures for surveillance. This has made it difficult to follow the progress of the reform. In the case of future reform, the reformists should state in their document the procedures and frequencies of review. This is due to newer ways are being developed every day and what was effective two years ago may be way much ineffective now.
The reform was a national initiative which may limit other places due to reach (Government of Australia Department of health, 2012). As a result, a community-based reforms should be considered since not all communities within the country have the same problems. Future reforms should be based on particular communities so that the needs of the patients are addressed with those who best understand the needs.
The mental health reform of Australia 2011-12 has helped a great deal in Australia. However, with the mentioned recommendation, the health sector can improve its services when implemented.
Australian Early Development Index (2012). The checklist measures.
Australian government: Department of health (2012). Evaluation of Suicide Prevention Activities: ATAPS Suicide Prevention Service Initiative
Australian government: Department of health (2012). National Mental Health Reform 2011-12: A National Partnership Agreement on Mental Health
Australian government: Department of health (2012). E-mental health strategy for Australia
Commonwealth of Australia (2011). National Health Reform. Progress and Delivery
Council of Australian Governments (2011). National Health Reform Agreement
Delivering Reforms (2011). A new blueprint for mental health services
Delivering Reforms implementation plan for TGA reforms: A blueprint for TGA’s future (2011). Therapeutic goods administration
Duckett S, Willcox S. 2011. The Australian Health Care System. Oxford University Press.
Mendoza J. (2015). One giant step to mental health reform. ABC News
Mental Health (2010). Taking action to tackle suicide election commitments
Oxford learner’s dictionary (2016). Reform. Retrieved from https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionarie.com/definition/english/reform_2 on October 12, 2016