Department of Health

The Department of Health is made up of the following portfolios, each representing a key function of the work we do to serve Victoria.  

Aboriginal Health 

Centred on Aboriginal self-determination, the department drives, coordinates and advises on policy and strategic reform across government to improve the health of Aboriginal Victorians.

Acute Health Services

The health system provides all Victorians with public hospitals and services to address their acute health needs. The department contributes to system leadership, policy, advancing quality and safety, and governance responsibility for the management of the public health system.

These contributions include responsibility for funding, performance monitoring and accountability, strategic asset management and system planning.

Ageing, Aged and Home Care

The department supports the timely access to services that enable older people to remain independent for as long as possible across acute health, community and aged care services. The department is also the system manager for the largest public sector residential aged care sector in Australia.  Responsibility for these services is shared with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.

Ambulance Services

Victorians expect timely responses to emergencies. Ambulance services provide emergency and non-emergency ambulance services to contribute to integrated and accessible health and community services for all Victorians.

Drug Services

Drug and alcohol problems affect not just individuals, but their families, their friends and their communities. The department works with Victoria’s alcohol and drug treatment and support services to develop policies and provide funding for the right drug treatment, support and harm-reduction services across Victoria.

Mental Health

Mental health services support Victorians experiencing or affected by poor mental health, as well as their families and carers. The department is responsible for mental health policy, planning, strategy and programs that deliver prevention, early intervention, treatment and support. The department is leading the implementation of the recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

Primary, Community and Dental Health

The department is responsible for funding, monitoring and planning the provision of community health care services (including counselling, allied health and nursing), dental services, and maternal and child health and early parenting services.

Public Health

The department seeks to reduce the incidence of preventable disease by protecting the community against hazards resulting from or associated with a communicable disease, food, water or the environment. The department works in strong partnerships with local government and service providers to reduce and respond to preventable disease and public health hazards. It also provides health education and promotion for the community and leads or supports health and non-health emergency responses.

The department’s dedicated COVID-19 Response Division supports the government’s response to the pandemic. The division delivers a range of services including policy and strategy advice, COVID-19 testing, wastewater surveillance and pathology, case contact and outbreak management, epidemiology data and intelligence, public engagement and COVID vaccinations.

Small Rural Services

The department is responsible for planning, funding, and monitoring the provision of a suite of services (acute health, aged care, home and community care, and primary health) that are delivered by small rural service providers. The funding and service delivery approach focuses on achieving a sustainable, flexible service mix that is responsive to local needs.

Our support agencies

Victorian Agency for Health Information (VAHI)

VAHI analyses and shares information across the Victorian health system to ensure services have an accurate picture of their quality and safety.

VAHI monitors and reports on public and private services that impact on health, wellbeing, quality and safety to stimulate and inform improvements, increase transparency and accountability, and inform the community.

VAHI collects and analyses information about the health status of Victorians to inform policy development and planning, and to give a complete picture of health in Victoria.

Safer Care Victoria

Safer Care Victoria is the peak state authority for quality and safety improvement in healthcare. It oversees and supports health services to provide safe, high-quality care to patients.

As well as monitoring the standards of care, Safer Care Victoria is partnering with consumers and their families, clinicians, and health services to support the continuous improvement of healthcare.

Safer Care Victoria was created in response to recommendations within the report Targeting Zero: Supporting the Victorian hospital system to eliminate avoidable harm and strengthen quality of care.

Reviewed 28 October 2021

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