Independent Governance Review of the Health Services Act 2016

The Minister for Health has appointed an expert panel to conduct an independent governance review of the Health Services Act 2016 (the Act) (external site).

The efficiency and effectiveness of the WA health system has a direct impact on the health of Western Australians. It is critical to investigate and understand whether the current governance arrangements and operational instruments specified within the Act are operating in a way that is optimal and enables the best possible outcomes for patients and their families now and into the future.

The governance review is anticipated to take nine months to complete with a final report submitted to the Minister for Health providing advice on the efficiency and effectiveness of the governance arrangements for the WA health system and making recommendations on system governance improvements, in line with the Sustainable Health Review.

The governance review is also an important first step in reviewing the effectiveness of the Act, prior to the commencement of a statutory review.

Background

The Health Services Act 2016 commenced on 1 July 2016 providing a legal framework for clear roles, responsibilities and accountabilities at all levels of the system and a devolved model of governance that enables decision-making closer to service delivery and patient care. The Act brought significant reform to the governance and structure of the WA health system:

  • The Department, led by the Director General, has been established as the System Manager responsible for the overall management, performance and strategic direction of the WA public health system to ensure the delivery of high-quality, safe and timely health services.
  • Health service providers (HSPs) have been established as separate legal entities, governed by either a chief executive or a board, legally responsible and accountable to the Minister for Health. HSPs have clear functions and powers under the Act relating to the provision of health services including preparing certain strategies, establishing procedures for dealing with complaints and monitoring and improving the quality of services provided.
Panel

A panel of highly skilled and experienced professionals will undertake the governance review. The panel is scheduled to meet formally from February 2022 and comprises:

Chair Ms Kym Peake, Partner, EY Port Jackson

Ms Peake has held senior roles in public administration as the former Secretary of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, and previous Deputy Secretary of the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Ms Peake led significant governance changes within Victoria’s public health system, including the creation of state-wide quality and safety entities, amalgamation of regional health services and creation of a new public entity to manage the purchasing, supply and distribution of medical consumables.

Dr David Rosengren, Executive Director Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital

Dr Rosengren has considerable and current clinical skills and experience working within a devolved governance health system and is a former Chair of the Queensland Clinical Senate.

Ms Jo Gaines, GESB Chair

Ms Gaines has extensive experience as an organisational leader and strategic policy director having worked as Deputy Chief of Staff to Premier Mark McGowan. Prior to this she was the Branch Assistant Secretary for the Community and Public Sector Union/Civil Service Association for 10 years.

Mr Gary Smith, Co-Chair of Reconciliation WA and Chancellor of Murdoch University

Mr Smith has thirty-five years of experience in the professional services industry and has provided business improvement and management consulting services to key industry sectors. A retired State Chair, KPMG, he brings strong governance skills and experience to the panel and has supported clients in matters of strategy, leadership, culture and process implementation.

Get involved

Why your views matter

The Independent Governance Review of the Health Services Act 2016 is now open for public consultation. The Panel invites those with an interest in the current operations of the WA health system to share their experiences and feedback.

In conducting the review, the Panel is examining the operational and practical effectiveness of the governance structures (relationships, responsibilities, processes and systems) within the WA health system, including their impact on the health workforce and patient outcomes. The findings of this review will also inform the statutory review of the Health Services Act 2016.

There are two ways to provide your comments:

  1. Complete the Survey
    • Provide your feedback on specific topics the review is focusing on, including: mental health, prevention and care in the community, patient and staff experience, roles and responsibilities and health system performance and emergency management; and/or
    • Provide open comment about current governance arrangements.
  2. Upload a Submission on behalf of yourself and/or your organisation.

You may choose to participate in both the survey and provide a submission.

The Public Consultation Period closes on 20 May 2022.

How submissions and survey responses will be used

The submission and/or survey responses you provide will help to assist the Review Panel to understand current issues and recommend improvements to Government.

Your Privacy

Collection notice

All references to ‘us’ or ‘we’ on this page are references to the Independent Panel.

You are not required to provide any personal information to make a submission or provide a response to the survey. All fields on the submission form and in the survey relating to personal information are optional.

If you do provide your email address, we may use it to seek clarification on your submission and/or survey response.

You do not need to provide contact information. If you do provide this information you can still opt for your submission and/or survey response to remain anonymous.

You have three choices in how we treat your submission and/or survey response:

  • publish with your name and/or organisation
  • publish anonymously
  • do not publish

Submissions and survey responses may be published on this page unless you have chosen to make a confidential submission.

Please do not provide the following types of information in your submission and/or survey response:

  • information that would identify a third party (for example, the name of a patient, clinician or administrator)
  • sensitive information including your race or ethnic origin or political opinion

Privacy collection statement

We are committed to protecting the personal information you provide in accordance with the principles of Western Australian privacy laws. Submissions and survey responses may also be subject the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA), and other relevant laws.

We will never publish your contact details. Your contact details will only be used for this consultation for the reasons outlined in the Collection Notice. Any submissions and survey responses published will have contact information redacted.

We may redact or not publish submissions and survey responses that identify third parties, or that are regarded as defamatory or discriminatory.

More information

Terms of reference

In carrying out the review, the Panel will consider the governance of the WA Health System in relation to:

  • the efficiency and effectiveness of the devolved governance structure, the System Manager and Board-led Health Service Providers (HSPs)
  • the impact of the current governance structure on the culture of HSPs from the perspective of consumers and carers, staff and the community
  • whether the System Manager’s role in planning and commissioning services and ensuring accountability is adequately enabled through existing mechanisms, such as mandatory policies, directions and Service Agreements
  • whether the System Manager and the HSPs are fulfilling their respective roles as originally envisaged, including whether the System Manager is exercising available authority under the existing structure and the HSPs are responding accordingly
  • the system’s ability to manage, plan and implement key health reforms and workforce requirements
  • the system’s ability to respond to emergency situations
  • any other related matters.

A team within the Department of Health is providing project support and Secretariat functions for the governance review.

If you have any queries, please contact the project team by emailing IndependentGovernanceReview@health.wa.gov.au