Safer care saves money – Melbourne

About one in every nine patients suffers a complication in hospital. In addition to the consequences for the patient, these complications add to health care costs. A Grattan Institute report issued last month recommended greater public reporting and transparency – state governments should publish information about complication rates in public and private hospitals. But should we go further? Where do financial incentives and penalties fit in? Would an improved hospital accreditation system help to reduce complication rates?

In this Policy Pitch event, Stephen Duckett, Health Program Director at Grattan Institute presented data on the costs of complication rates and potential new strategies to reduce adverse events. He was joined by Associate Professor Jill Sewell, chair of the Victorian Clinical Council and Dr Linda Swan, Chief Medical Officer for Medibank to discuss how strategies might work in the public and private sectors.


Dr Stephen Duckett is Director of the Health Program at Grattan Institute. He has a reputation for creativity, evidence-based innovation and reform in areas ranging from the introduction of activity-based funding for hospitals, to new systems of accountability for the safety of hospital care.

Associate Professor Jill Sewell AM is a consultant paediatrician at The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne and Chair of the Victorian Clinical Council, and President of the Australian Medical Council. She has been President of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

Dr Linda Swan, Chief Medical Officer for Medibank Private,  is uniquely positioned to support healthcare reform that can improve health outcomes, patient experience and the affordability of healthcare for all Australians.  She is committed to applying evidence and best practice to deliver measurable improvements in health. As well as her CMO role with Medibank,  Linda is a member of the Australian Digital Health Agency Safety and Quality Governance Committee and the Australian College of Sports and Exercise Physicians Standards Committee.