Health Minister Lawrence Springborg has welcomed the tabling and publication of the report by Richard Chesterman QC into a whistle blower’s allegations of medical malpractice within the Queensland health system.
Mr Springborg said the report highlighted the need for changes to administrative structures that oversee the handling of complaints and the enforcement of standards in Queensland health facilities.
“These recommendations reflect concerns I have raised since my appointment,” the Minister said. “Mr Chesterman has highlighted the need for stronger legal participation in the review of complaints about medical cases and I agree with the thrust of his suggestions.”
The Minister said he would seek further advice about each of the four recommendations.
“I take particular note of the need for legal scrutiny of cases processed by these agencies over the past five years and for a review of cases in which there was a conflicting response by the agencies concerned,” Mr Springborg said. “These are necessary steps to build public confidence.”
The Minister thanked Queensland Health employees for their ready support of the inquiry.
He said the operation of several departmental agencies, including the Health Quality Complaints Commission and the Ethical Standards Unit was examined by Mr Chesterman. The actions of the nationwide Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and its Queensland medical board were also considered as part of the process.
“The report will require the clarification of roles between agencies reporting at the state and federal levels,” he said. “I will be writing to the Federal Minister to seek her support.”