Queensland Minister for Health Lawrence Springborg
Queensland Puts Out The Call For Health Ombudsman Applicants
Victor P Taffa
A new Queensland Health Ombudsman is expected to be appointed by the end of the year. The Health Ombudsman Bill was passed in Parliament on 20 August and the selection process for the position is currently underway.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the Health Ombudsman would lead the reform agenda for the health complaints process.
“The successful applicant will lead reform by effectively managing complaints and any other matters relating to health, the conduct and performance of health practitioners, and services provided by health service organisations in Queensland.” Mr. Springborg said.
“The Ombudsman will also oversee the establishment of a new, transparent and timely system for complaints management and lead a team of specialists in assessment, investigation, proceedings and conciliation.”
The role will report to the Health Minister and the Health and Community Services Committee of the Queensland Parliament.
Mr. Springborg said KPMG had been contracted to carry out preliminary analysis, planning and the development of the Health Ombudsman’s office, as outlined in the Health Ombudsman Act 2013.
“This analysis will be provided for the consideration of the Health Ombudsman and the executive appointees reporting to Health Ombudsman.” Mr. Springborg said.
“One of these appointees will be a director of proceedings, as a statutory position under the Health Ombudsman Act and it is likely that the other executive staff will lead areas in relation to complaints and assessments, investigations and support.”
Mr. Springborg said he was confident the structure of the Office of the Health Ombudsman would reflect the stronger focus on timely complaints handling, and the anticipated level of complaints and notifications.
“The tighter timeframes for complaints assessment, investigation and completion under the Act will give Queenslanders a more rigorous, accountable health complaints system, which will be the single point of lodgement for health complaints in Queensland.”