Health: 2016–17 results of financial audits

(Report 7: 2017–18)

Audit objective

This report summarises the results of our 2016–17 financial audits of the entities in the Queensland public health sector.

Overview

As the demand for health services across the state increases, entities within Queensland’s public health sector are looking for ways to increase their efficiency in delivering services, while also improving the quality of care.

Queensland’s public health sector consumes 29 per cent of the state budget. It funds the Queensland Ambulance Service, and, combined with Australian Government funding, public hospital and health services across the state. The sector includes the Department of Health and 16 hospital and health services, three health statutory bodies and their controlled entities, 13 hospital foundations, and three primary health networks that are considered controlled, or jointly controlled, Queensland public sector entities.

Recommendations

As part of each audit we make recommendations to individual entities in the Queensland public health sector about how to improve their financial management.

We recommend these Queensland Health entities take prompt action to address individual recommendations and resolve internal control deficiencies, with a particular focus on those outstanding since prior years, to help mitigate the risk of fraud or error. We also expect that audit and risk committees will take an active role in monitoring the resolution of internal control deficiencies.

Audit results

We issued unmodified audit opinions for the financial statements of each of the health sector entities. Readers can rely on the results in the financial statements. All audits were completed within legislative deadlines.

Most Queensland Health entities (which, for this report, include the Department of Health (DoH) and the hospital and health services (HHSs)) have improved the robustness of their year end close processes, allowing them to produce high quality financial statements in a timely manner. This year, more Queensland Health entities met their time frames for completing year end processes, including complex asset valuations, and prepared their draft financial statements by the dates they agreed with us.

Most Queensland Health entities provided financial statements to us that required no amendments to the values reported.

Other reports and resources

Efficient and effective use of high value medical equipment (Report 10: 2016–17)
Hospital and Health Services: 2015–16 results of financial audits (Report 9: 2016–17)
Queensland public hospital operating theatre efficiency (Report 15: 2015–16)