The Health and Hospitals Fund (HHF) was established by the Government as part of its economic stability package to finance transport and broadband, infrastructure in higher education and vocational education and training facilities, and health infrastructure.
The objectives of the Health and Hospitals Fund are to:
- invest in major health infrastructure programs that will make significant progress towards achieving the Commonwealth’s health reform targets; and
- make strategic investments in the health system that will underpin major improvements in efficiency, access or outcomes of health care.
On 30 September 2010, the Government opened a new government grant round under the Health and Hospitals Fund, with funding of up to $1.8 billion available for health infrastructure projects.
The primary focus of this Health and Hospitals Funding round is to provide capital funding to projects in regional communities in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Areas (RA) 2 to 5 to support upgrades to regional health infrastructure, expansions to regional hospitals and to help support the clinical training capacity of regional hospitals.
Health and Hospitals Fund government grants can be used to construct a new building or purchase or refurbish and/or extend an existing building. This includes:
- building activities required to design and construct/refurbish the project;
- direct building costs associated with building new or upgrading existing premises (for -example building, plumbing, electrical etc);
- purchase of an existing property;
- information management and technology systems installation; and
- purchase of land.
This may also include some establishment costs for the purchase of health, diagnostic or research equipment necessary to furnish the project.
Health and Hospitals Fund capital funding cannot be used for:
- ongoing operating costs including rent, utilities, salaries and building maintenance;
- professional health services (including services to which an MBS item relates);
- maintenance of medical equipment; and
- the purchase of consumables for medical equipment (other than a consumables pack that may be supplied with equipment on delivery)
Health and Hospitals Fund cannot be used to reimburse an organisation for any costs incurred prior to the outcome of the funding process being announced. Costs incurred by a successful applicant after the announcement of the funding process but prior to entering into a funding agreement with the Commonwealth are incurred at the applicant’s own risk.
The Health and Hospitals Fund Regional Priority Round will improve access to essential health services to as many Australians as possible living in rural, regional and remote areas through investments in health infrastructure. This will help close the gap in health outcomes between major metropolitan and regional areas of Australia.
Projects should focus on upgrades to regional health infrastructure, expansions to regional hospitals, and to supporting the clinical training capacity of regional hospitals. Preference will be given to projects that align with the Government’s health reform agenda in the following areas:
- improved acute care facilities and equipment;
- primary and community health service infrastructure – focusing on facilities or equipment to support a more integrated approach, particularly in the areas of chronic disease, mental health and dental health;
- workforce training infrastructure – to support approaches to improve the health and medical workforce, to deal with the increase in numbers of people training to be health professionals, and to assist in improving distribution;
- e-Health – projects that will expand the use of e-Health to increase connectedness between providers and patients;
- specialised cancer care – development of integrated cancer care facilities; and
- research facilities that are integrated with improving clinical care and/or health workforce training.
Hospitals, primary and community care facilities (including multi-purpose services), health research institutes and universities may apply for funding in this context.
In submitting an application to the HHF Regional Priority round, in addition to addressing the Health and Hospitals Fund Evaluation Criteria in Section 3.2, applicants will need to demonstrate how project meets the following:
- Address the health needs of regional, rural and remote areas of Australia;
- Provide or link to other health services to provide comprehensive multi-disciplinary care; and
- Provide equitable and affordable access.
For more information about this initiative, please refer to the HHF Funding Application and Assessment Guidelines (PDF 88 KB) (including the Regional Priority Round Additional Guidance) and the Questions and Answers (PDF 34.2 KB).
Applications under the Health and Hospitals Fund Regional Priority Round will close at 2pm on Friday, 3 December 2010.
We are specialists in preparing and winning government grants. If you require assistance with this government grant application, contact us to discuss further.