Health minister Kim Hames has announced the terms of reference for an independent review into the Peel Health Campus and the state government’s contract with hospital operator Health Solutions WA.
The review, to be undertaken by neurosurgeon Bryant Stokes, will examine alleged incentive payments to doctors, the cost-effectiveness of the contract and whether the arrangement had “compromised the clinical outcome of patients”.
The minister's announcement followed a parliamentary committee report last week, calling for a full inquiry into the running of the hospital.
It also followed reports earlier this month alleging that an independent consultant’s report into the hospital was edited to remove claims of mishandling of patient information and mistaken identities.
Dr Hames said despite the recent alleged troubles at Peel Health Campus, he was confident in the future contracting of health services to private operators.
Professor Stokes is also the author of a review into mental health services in WA hospitals released last month which found that the system was “under stress” and mental health workers were “severely overworked”.
Dr Hames said Professor Stokes’ findings were “not always favourable to the government” but he was a fair and independent choice to lead the review.
He also stressed the importance of having someone with a medical background chair the review, pointing out that the main whistle-blower into affairs at the Peel Health Campus did not have a medical background.
Former Peel Health Campus chairman and Health Solutions major shareholder Jon Fogarty issued a statement yesterday attacking the report of the Estimates and Financial Operations Committee into the hospital as “politically motivated, biased and unfair.”
“The fact that the committee found no smoking gun further reduces the credibility of the findings,” he said.
"If the government decides that an independent, non-political, fair and balanced inquiry is required, then I welcome the opportunity to be the first person called to give evidence."