Department of Health
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The Department of Health helps manage our public health system to provide all Victorians with high-quality public hospitals and services for their acute health needs. We have leadership responsibility for:

  • acute health services
  • public health
  • primary, community and dental health
  • health regulation
  • ambulance services
  • mental health
  • drug services
  • ageing, aged and home care
  • medical research.

The department’s Executive Board assists the Secretary with strategic leadership to meet the department’s objectives (including vision, purpose and direction setting). It also improves performance and outcomes and implements complex reform priorities. The Executive Board comprises the Secretary, Deputy Secretaries, the Chief Communications Officer, the Chief Aboriginal Health Adviser and CEOs of Safer Care Victoria and the Victorian Agency for Health Information.

Each Deputy Secretary leads a division that is organised by portfolio. In addition, whole-of-department functions support the department’s operations, services and responsibilities.

Download an organisational chart and further information about the department’s ministers, portfolios and responsibilities.

Our functions

Health system commissioning improvement

The department stewards Victoria’s health and community care system. This system includes public health services, community-based healthcare providers, maternal and child health services, dental health service, public residential aged care and ambulance services.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Division leads and delivers Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing reform agenda, as set out by the Final report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (2021). It also stewards the mental health and alcohol and other drug services sectors.

Public Health

The department is responsible for advancing public health, improving population health and wellbeing outcomes and equity, preventing disease and injury, and leading readiness for and response to health threats and broader emergencies. This includes control agency responsibility under the State Emergency Management Plan for health emergencies, which can include a threat to drinking water quality, a radioactive incident, a food security incident or an infectious disease outbreak or pandemic.

The department stewards Victoria’s networked public health system which includes functions performed by Local Public Health Units within health services, community-based organisations and local government.

Health Infrastructure

The department is responsible for planning, design, delivery and oversight of the Victorian Government’s multibillion-dollar health infrastructure program, including managed assets, across all departmental portfolios.

We also provide expertise and leadership for long-term health infrastructure planning. This includes environment and precincts policy development and ensuring infrastructure investment supports jobs and economic growth in Victoria.

System reform and medical research

The department drives reform and improvement within the Victorian health system. We design change to improve health outcomes, health equity and influence the future shape of the health system. The department actively promotes the health and medical research sector across the research pipeline leading on advocacy, support and advice in national and local contexts. Additionally, it provides grants and infrastructure support and leads on collaborative approaches across the Victorian health and medical research sector.

Health information

The Victorian Agency for Health Information within the department is Victoria’s end-to-end health data agency. It delivers trusted information to inform better decisions and improve the health and wellbeing of Victorians.

Health care quality and safety

Safer Care Victoria (SCV) is the state’s healthcare quality and safety improvement agency and drives best practice across the sector through a range of critical improvement projects. SCV works in close partnership with health services, clinicians, consumers and the wider community.

SCV monitors and improves the quality and safety of care delivered across Victoria’s healthcare system, including sentinel events, clinical governance challenges, and consumer complaints. SCV also provides expert advice to clinicians and consumers.

Aboriginal Health

The department drives key policy and health reform initiatives in partnership with the Aboriginal community-controlled health sector and broader health system. The department works in partnership with the Aboriginal community, health sector and governments to achieve a health system that is equitable, culturally safe, and driven by Aboriginal self-determination.

People and operations

The department undertakes many people and operational functions including financial and human resource management, industrial and employment relations, procurement and contract management, information security, management and digital solutions, organisational planning, performance reporting and governance, as well as risk and integrity functions.

Some corporate services are shared between the Department of Health and Department of Families, Fairness and Housing for shared services such as payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, fleet, accommodation and property/facilities management.

The department has a key role in driving health regulatory compliance and enforcement and stewarding health legal and regulatory reform.

Communications and engagement

The department provides strategic, coordinated and best practice communications and engagement through functions such as public affairs (media relations and events), strategic communications and marketing and stakeholder and consumer engagement.

This ensures the department speaks in a unified voice that aligns with a central narrative promoting the government’s vision for the Victorian community and its key priorities.

Reviewed 31 August 2023

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