28 November 2019
Patients and their families will benefit from a new website that will provide more information about hospitals and health services across Queensland, according to a group of leading health NGOs.
Today Parliament passed the Health Transparency Act 2019, which will allow Queensland Health to publish information to promote transparency of hospitals’ safety and quality in the future. A new website will also inform the community about the services being offered at hospitals and health services across the state.
“Health Consumers Queensland has long advocated for improved public reporting of meaningful safety and quality data. Queenslanders across the State have told us that they want to know about what clinical services and models of care are offered, and about guidelines and protocols,” said Melissa Fox, CEO of Health Consumers Queensland. “Access to quality and safety information about hospital services is key, including rates of complications from clinical care, staff-to-patient ratios and information about accreditation status of a hospital (and what it really means). Consumers and carers also want general information about parking locations and cost, and where to find food and accommodation, as these things impact on families’ experiences of our health system. They want all of this information for public and private hospitals, as well as residential aged care homes.”
Heart Foundation Queensland CEO, Stephen Vines, said the new system would improve the transparency of the quality and safety of health services provided in Queensland, while helping patients make better-informed decisions about their healthcare.
“We look forward to supporting the implementation of this new scheme, which will include a number of clinical specialties, and hope to see it extend in future to areas such as cardiology,” Mr Vines said.
“The new website will enable consumers to make an informed choice and regulatory bodies to take timely corrective action where necessary,” said Mark Fenton, Board Chair of the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, the peak body representing the community mental health sector in Queensland. “Regional Queenslanders face particular difficulty accessing mental health services – despite about a third of Australians living in regional Australia, around 90 per cent of psychiatrists and two-thirds of mental health practitioners work in major cities. Knowing what acute services are available is important, and this new regime will make it even easier for people to know about, and get to, these vital services.”
“On behalf of all Queenslanders living with cancer, we welcome this increased transparency and the provision of better information about hospital performance and service availability,” said Ms Chris McMillan, CEO Cancer Council Queensland. “When patients and their families are making decisions about their care and treatment, it’s important that they know what they can expect. This new website will provide some of that knowledge, and the Queensland Government should be congratulated for taking a leading role in providing this clear, accessible information to the community.”
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