Health Ombudsman to be Appointed in Queensland

By Petrina Smith
Wednesday, 21 August, 2013

 With the passing of the Health Ombudsman Bill in Parliament yesterday, a Health Ombudsman will be appointed to oversee the health complaints management system in Queensland and manage serious allegations against health practitioners.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the new Ombudsman would help restore public confidence in the health complaints management system by strengthening its transparency and accountability.
“Complaints about the health system need to be dealt with in an accountable, swift and effective manner, so Queensland Health can grow and continue to provide top quality medical services,” Mr Springborg said.
“One of the problems with the past system was the complicated process required in cases where health practitioners were not registered and this will be dealt with under the new system.”
Key aspects of the bill include:
• Better oversight of the administration of the health complaints management system by the Minister for Health.
• Requirements for the Health Ombudsman to make public regular performance reports on the complaints management system.
• The principle that the health and safety of the public is paramount and must be taken into account by the Health Ombudsman, QCAT and other authorised persons when administering the legislation.
• That it repeals and replaces the Health Quality and Complaints Commission Act 2006 and the Health Practitioners (Disciplinary Proceedings) Act 1999.
• That it amends the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law so that Queensland becomes a ‘co-regulatory jurisdiction’ for the purposes of the National Law. This will not affect the national registration of health practitioners, but enables Queensland to vary how the disciplinary provisions of the National Law apply in Queensland.

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