Inquiry into Health Department governance and operation vital

Inquiry into Health Department governance and operation vital


Thursday 13 September 2018

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It’s time for a wholescale and fully independent investigation into the entire governance and operation of WA’s health system, the Australian Medical Association (WA) said today.

 

AMA (WA) President Dr Omar Khorshid said he had today written to Premier Mark McGowan calling on the Government to immediately establish a full inquiry.

 

The AMA (WA) has previously raised with the State Government the lack of accountability and transparency in the health system highlighted by a number of recent reports and inquiries.

 

Every report in recent years continues to highlight the same fundamental deficits in the management and operation of our health system, including poor performance monitoring and oversight; a lack of accountability and ineffective governance structures.

 

Unfortunately, despite all these previous recommendations, nothing seems to change.

 

The WA Crime and Corruption Commission’s most recent report into bribery and corruption within the North Metropolitan Health Service is only the latest to identify failures of governance. This corruption and wastage of taxpayer’s money has diverted money away from patient care, the AMA (WA) said.

 

“It is time for the culture of secrecy to come to an end. This will not be achieved by dealing with the symptoms of a broken system. The Premier’s planned Public Sector Commission inquiry into the recent incidents is far too narrow and will not address the underlying problems in the system.” Dr Khorshid said.

 

“We are concerned that a lack of action on this matter will only result in ongoing waste and corruption and will limit the ability of the Health Services to meet the needs of our community,” he said.

 

Dr Khorshid said the Government must immediately convene an independent investigation into the operation and management of our health system which should:

 

  • address culture, performance, accountability and transparency;
  • examine the need for the Health Service Boards to play a more independent role in the management of health services, including transparent performance and budget benchmarking and effective governance structures;
  • build on the findings and recommendations of previous inquiries, reviews and reports on aspects of the WA health system, including the Professor Mascie-Taylor Review of Safety and Quality in the WA health system.

 

“How much longer do we have to wait for action? More procrastination, more piecemeal inquiries and more limited reports that don’t result in change will only guarantee a continuation of the errors, waste, corruption and scandals in the health department,” Dr Khorshid said.

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"It is my hope that we can tackle the challenges our profession faces, united as one. If we dislike our working hours, our pay, gender inequality or low training opportunities, we can change these together. As a nurse in my previous life, I know that when a profession stands as one, people listen."
Dr Rebecca Cogan
Dr Rebecca Cogan
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