Queensland Health Ombudsman will be “one-stop shop”
A NEW watchdog to deal with health complaints will be in place by July as the LNP reacts to two reports chronicling widespread mishandling of patient grievances.
In the most extreme case, a patient's complaint took more than six years to address.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the new Queensland Health Ombudsman would act as a "one-stop shop" for complaints so they were not lost in a "maze of confusion" caused by current state and federal bureaucracies.
The report comes after a three-person panel examined 596 files, of which about 60% or 363 were found to have been dealt with poorly.
Former assistant commissioner of the Health Quality and Complaints Commission Dr Kim Forrester chaired the panel.
Dr Forrester reported one case took six-and-a-half years to be addressed.
Another report, now in the hands of Mr Springborg, was from senior lawyer Jeffrey Hunter who recommended police consider criminal charges for six medical practitioners.
Some of these had already been stopped from practising while others were still working under strict supervision.
Mr Springborg told journalists the Queensland board of the Medical Board of Australia, backed by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency often bounced complaints between different groups, causing huge delays to action.
The minister said details of how the ombudsman would operate were yet to be worked out but would include broader reforms tackling Health Quality and Complaints Commission responsibilities.