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Commonwealth and Queensland Health responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities

The National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA) sets out roles and responsibilities for the Commonwealth and State levels of government in relation to providing health services.

  • System management, policy and funding for GP and primary health care services
  • Establishing Primary Health Networks to promote coordinated GP and primary health care service delivery
  • Working with each State and Territory on system-wide policy and state-wide planning for GP and primary health care
  • Promoting equitable and timely access to GP and primary health care services
  • System management, planning, policy and funding, of the national aged care system.
  • System management of public hospitals, including:
    • establishment of the legislative basis and governance arrangements of public hospital services, including the establishment of Local Hospital Networks (called Hospital and Health Services in Queensland)
    • system-wide public hospital service planning and performance
    • purchasing public hospital services and monitoring delivery of services purchased
    • planning, funding and delivering capital
    • planning, funding (with the Commonwealth) and delivering teaching, training and research
    • managing Hospital and Health Service performance
    • state-wide public hospital industrial relations functions, including negotiation of enterprise bargaining agreements and establishment of remuneration and employment terms and conditions to be adopted by Hospital and Health Services.
  • Taking a lead role in managing public health
  • Sole relationship management with Hospital and Health Services to ensure a single point of accountability for public hospital performance, performance management and planning.


The Commonwealth Government provides significant funding to the Queensland Government for health services in Queensland. This reflects the federal system of government, with the Commonwealth raising most of the revenue but the States incurring most of the expenses.

In 2018-19, the Queensland Health total expenses reported by Tridata were $17,736 million, approximately 27% of which were provided by the Commonwealth Government under the National Health Reform Agreement. Most of this was for public hospital services.

There are also National Partnership Agreements (NPAs) for specific projects. These include NPAs supporting National Health Reform arrangements as well as health infrastructure, health services, Indigenous health, mental health, and other health payments.


There are two main bodies that interface between the two levels of government:

Read more about the interfaces between levels of government.

Last updated: 14 June 2016