Media Releases and Communiques
Australian Health Ministers move forward on new commission on safety and quality.
Australian Health Ministers agreed for the new Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to commence operation from 1 January 2006. The Commission will succeed the Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care, which was established in January 2000 for a five-year term, ceasing operation on 31 December 2005.
18 November 2005
Joint CommuniqueAt a meeting in Adelaide today all Australian Health Ministers agreed for the new Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to commence operation from 1 January 2006. The Commission will succeed the Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care, which was established in January 2000 for a five-year term, ceasing operation on 31 December 2005.
In July 2005 Ministers agreed to establish the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care following careful consideration of an independent review on the safety and quality of health care in Australia. The review, led by Mr Ron Paterson, New Zealand Health and Disability Commissioner, reviewed the work of the Council and examined the broad governance of health care safety and quality in Australia.
Over the past five years the Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care chaired by Dr Bruce Barraclough has made a valuable contribution to raising awareness of safety and quality issues and has produced an extensive body of policy work which has led to the development of important national policies and standards. Ministers have agreed that it is now timely to broaden that focus. This will include regularly measuring and reporting publicly on safety and quality in health care in Australia.
Ministers agreed that the new Commission will build on the achievements of Council and the transition to new arrangements will ensure this valuable work is not lost. While attention on improving the safety of hospitals will be maintained, quality improvement in primary health care and the private sector will also become priority areas. Achieving safe, effective and responsive care for consumers will be a key objective of the Commission.
Processes are currently in place for appointing members and setting up the necessary governance arrangements for the new Commission, which will be formally established from 1 January 2006. A stringent selection process is being undertaken to ensure all members of the Commission and decision-makers have the appropriate background and expertise to contribute to the Commission’s drive for safety and quality improvement in health care. An Inter-Jurisdictional Committee comprising high level representation from Commonwealth, States and Territories will be responsible for policy advice to the Commission and ensuring health departments operate in accordance with new policy directions.
Once the Commission is set up a Stakeholder Reference Group comprising representatives from key national stakeholder bodies will be established by the Commission. The Stakeholder Reference Group will be responsible for providing high quality advice to the Commission on the safety and quality agenda.
Until these appointments are finalised, a Transition Committee led by Mr Jim Birch, Chief Executive of the South Australian Department of Health will ensure appropriate management of all matters relating to safety and quality in health care.
Richard O’Leary, Media Advisor for NT Minister for Health
Mobile: 0401 119 586
Phone No: 08 8901 4118
Fax No: 08 8901 4119