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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Process underway to appoint health sector watchdog

    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Friday, May 19, 2017

    Process underway to appoint health sector watchdog

    The Queensland Government has embarked on a recruitment exercise to appoint the state’s Health Ombudsman, an independent role tasked with protecting the health and safety of the general public.

    Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the Health Ombudsman played a critical role in giving Queenslanders confidence in the state’s health system, and would be subject to an open selection process.

    “Given the importance of this statutory position in our state’s health system and the need for openness and transparency in the appointment process, I have decided to submit this appointment, once again, to an open selection process,” Mr Dick said.

    “The term of the current Health Ombudsman, Mr Leon Atkinson-MacEwen, is due to expire in December, however to ensure sufficient time for compliance with cabinet and parliamentary appointment processes, the recruitment process will now commence.

    “I have written and spoken to Mr Atkinson-MacEwan to advise him of my decision and to inform him that he is welcome to reapply for appointment in this process.”

    Mr Dick said the Health Ombudsman role was an independent watchdog for Queensland’s health sector, making sure it is transparent, accountable and fair.

    “This is an important position that is responsible for managing health service complaints – both public and private, and in relation to both registered and unregistered practitioners,” he said.

    “That includes investigating issues and, where necessary, taking immediate action to protect the public.

    “The Health Ombudsman is instrumental in ensuring health practitioners are safe and competent and delivering services to acceptable standards.”

    The Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) comprises approximately 125 full-time equivalent employees and operated on an annual budget of $14 million in 2015-16.

    The Minister said expressions of interest in the role would be sought from candidates who could demonstrate attributes including a high-standing in the community and experience in making fair and balanced decisions in the public interest.

    He said an extensive understanding of the Queensland health system and a sound knowledge of professional, safe and appropriate health practices and performance standards were also vital to the position.

    “The successful candidate will have exceptional relationship skills and a proven track record in building a high-performance organisation,” Mr Dick said.

    Queensland Health has engaged HardyGroup International to assist with the recruitment.

    The expression of interest period will start on 20 May 2017 and end at midnight on 11 June 2017.

    The successful candidate is expected to commence in the role in December 2017.

    Media contact: Michelle Wellington 0437 323 834