In Health

Western Australia Deputy Premier Kim Hames

Department of Health Acting Director General appointed

Victor P Taffa

Western Australia Minister for Health Kim Hames today announced the appointment of Kim Snowball as Acting Director General of the Department of Health.

Mr. Snowball will act in the position for six months from January 16.

Dr. Hames said Mr. Snowball was a highly experienced public servant and certified practising accountant, who had been chief executive of the WA Country Health Service which had an annual budget of $1 Billion a year.

“Mr. Snowball has also worked at a national level, having developed a National Rural Health Framework for the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments.” Dr. Hames said.

“I am looking forward to working with Mr. Snowball to continue the good work being done in the Department of Health, including the implementation of the Four Hour Rule, improving access to health care for indigenous people and the construction of Fiona Stanley Hospital.”

The Minister thanked current director general of Health, Dr. Peter Flett, who will vacate the position on January 15, for his work over the past two years.

“Dr. Flett initiated a series of reforms which has ensured our health system has provided world-class care to patients in Western Australia.” Dr. Hames said.

Dr. Hames said the recruitment process for a director general would begin immediately and include an international search.

An independent selection process over several months would be conducted by the Commissioner for Public Sector Standards.

Health is a major issue for all Australians. The simplistic answer by many is to throw as much money at the problem and hope that it will solve the problems at hand.

A National takeover of health is not the answer as it simply makes health care less responsive to the community. Bureaucratic red tape simply becomes more complex and less representative of the real problems at hand. More money to health invariably ends up in bureaucratic hands and not in frontline services.

Many smaller community based hospitals will close as these facilities would not fit into the National view that ‘big is better.’

If a National takeover of health is such a good idea one only has to look at the way in which the Commonwealth run Northern Territory Government functions to realise that Territorians do not have a say in the way their Territory is run.

Clearly the health of all Indigenous Australians is as a result at risk.

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