NSW Minister for Health John Della Bosca recently announced NSW Health’s decision to implement 137 of the 139 recommendations made by Peter Garling SC, in its Caring Together: The Health Action Plan for NSW.
In his report, Special Commissioner Garling prioritised the establishment of a Bureau of Health Information and the implementation of up-to-date information technology reforms, which are to be “considerably accelerated” and completed by 2013.
At the end of last month, Minister for Health John Della Bosca announced the decision to establish the independent bureau.
“The Bureau of Health Information, to start by July this year, is part of the NSW Government’s Caring Together: The Health Action Plan for NSW developed in response to the Garling Report,” the Minister said. “Through the Bureau, a range of performance data will be publicly reported at State, Area Health Service, as well as both a hospital and a clinical unit/service level so staff have the information they need to make the best decisions for patients.
“While NSW Health already publishes a wide range of information on its website, as recommended by Commissioner Garling, the Bureau will provide an independent source of information for the community, clinicians and the media,” the Minister said.
The Bureau will act as a statutory health corporation, in response to SC Garling’s recommendation that the BHI should be “independent of the Department and which is either a stand alone body or else part of a stand-alone body”. He advised the BHI should be established within 3 months.
In January last year, former NSW Minister for Health Reba Meagher appointed Peter Garling head of a Special Commission of Inquiry into the delivery of patient care in the NSW public health system.