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Hospitals website launched

For the first time all Australians will soon be able to view data about their public hospitals.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon has announced the MyHospitals website will start next month - but cannot give a date.

And she conceded it was unlikely hold-out state Western Australia would sign up to the scheme - part of the national health reforms - before the poll.

Roxon called a news conference in Melbourne on Friday to announce that a scaled-down version of the website, which collates hospital performance data, would be online some time in August.

But pressed for an exact date, she said that was up to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, which is developing the site.

"I'm told that will be within a number of weeks, but it certainly will be in August and we're very much looking forward to that," Roxon said.

"There has unfortunately been a fair amount of speculation that this was not ever going to happen. I was keen to be able to assure the public that the myhospitals.gov.au website is to happen and will happen very shortly."

The website will contain performance data from hundreds of public hospitals across Australia, comparing elective surgery and emergency department waiting times with the national average.

It will also list the services provided by hospitals, such as obstetrics and outpatient care, like dental services.

Private hospitals will be included in the future, the minister said.

Western Australia is the only state yet to sign up to the health reform package and although negotiations are continuing, Roxon suggested it was unlikely a deal would be made before the election.

Roxon said the website would provide transparency and empower patients with the information to choose where they seek medical care.

"Information about more than 600 public hospitals will for the first time be available on one website, with information about emergency departments, with information about elective surgery, with information about where that hospital appears in terms of performance compared to a national average."


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