//Health Ombudsman releases performance report for 2015–16

Health Ombudsman releases performance report for 2015–16

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01 September 2016


Queenslanders are making more complaints about health services than ever before, with 5435 complaints—a 28 per cent year-on-year increase—made to the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) in 2015–16.

Health Ombudsman Leon Atkinson-MacEwen said feedback from the public indicated the unprecedented rise was due to increased confidence in the health service complaints management system in Queensland since the introduction of the Office of the Health Ombudsman in 2014.

“Queenslanders know that whenever a health service complaint is lodged with the OHO, it gets taken seriously and dealt with efficiently and appropriately,” Mr Atkinson-MacEwen said.

“In the two years since commencing operations, we have built a reputation for providing independent, fair and transparent health service complaints management in Queensland.”

Mr Atkinson-MacEwen said more than half (52 per cent) of the issues raised in complaints by the public related to professional performance, with poor communication (14 per cent) and professional conduct (10 per cent) also making up a significant number.

He said 38 per cent of issues raised in complaints about individual practitioners concerned general medical practitioners—which includes GPs—with surgeons (15 per cent) and medical specialists (14 per cent) making up the top three.

For complaints about health organisations, 64 per cent of issues related to public hospitals, 11 per cent to private hospitals and 5 per cent to mental health services.

Other highlights from the Office of the Health Ombudsman yearly performance report 2015–16 include:

  • 9351 contacts from members of the public—compared to 8017 in 2014–15
  • 1242 local resolutions were completed—compared to 691 in 2014–15
  • 655 mandatory notifications were received from health practitioners, employers and educators—compared to 263 in 2014–15
  • 163 investigations were closed—compared to 65 in 2014–15
  • 88 conciliations were completed—compared to 65 in 2014–15
  • 1993 practitioners were referred to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency—compared to 948 in 2014–15.

“While the unprecedented increases in complaints have placed strains on the resources of the office, actions have been—and continue to be—taken to improve our performance and provide the kind of health service complaints management system that Queenslanders expect,” Mr Atkinson-MacEwen said.

“I look forward to continuing this great work in 2016–17 and, in partnership with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, building on our success in protecting the health and safety of Queenslanders.”

For more information about the Office of the Health Ombudsman go to www.oho.qld.gov.au.

media@oho.qld.gov.au 0427 483 656