Senate giving clinicians a strong voice for 10 years

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Queensland Clinical Senate is celebrating 10 years of influencing and leading change in the state’s public health system.

Senate Chair Dr Alex Markwell said the Senate gave clinicians a strong voice on important system-wide issues affecting the quality of patient care. ‘Since its first meeting in May 2009, the Senate has continued to give our committed clinicians dedicated time to meet and collaborate on some of the big, and often complex issues that affect Queenslanders,’ she said.

‘There is often no easy answer to the issues that the Senate discusses so while we may not see immediate change, we know that our recommendations remain part of high-level conversations and that they are effective in driving change.’

Among its many achievements, the Senate has been successful in advocating for:

  • GP access to The Viewer
  • publicly funded bariatric surgery
  • a ban on sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks in in public hospitals
  • a statewide strategy for end of life care, including a community education program and a charter for adults and children
  • funding to support implementation of innovative models of integrated care
  • an evidence-based review of the quality of patient health outcomes related to NEAT, resulting in a revised NEAT target of 80 per cent
  • a charter of clinical requirements for digital health.
  • Dr Markwell said the success of the Senate relied on a strong membership base. ‘We are fortunate to have a very active membership representing the diversity of clinicians, specialities and areas of care across Queensland,’ she said. ‘Health Consumers Queensland continues to be a strong partner of the Senate and with their support we continue to have consumer and carer representation, which is essential for our work to make a difference.’

    Dr Markwell said active clinician leadership and consumer collaboration for better care promised great opportunity for the health system. ‘There is much we can achieve if we work together,’ she said. ‘Congratulations to everyone involved in the Senate during this past decade.’

    First deputy chair appointed

    The Senate also announced the appointment of its first Deputy Chair. Mr Chris Raftery—Nursing Director for Clinical Innovation and Advanced Practice at Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service—was appointed in June.

    Mr Raftery has broad clinical and leadership experience. He worked with the Senate on its National Emergency Access Target research and saw it as a “fantastic opportunity”.

    ‘The Senate is an important forum for clinicians to carry out critical dialogue. From the depths of experience across the state and disciplines to shaping our current and future health system.’

    Dr Markwell said Mr Raftery is an exceptional addition to the Senate’s leadership team. ‘I look forward to working alongside Chris and the executive team to continue the great work of the Senate,’ Dr Markwell said.

    The Queensland Clinical Senate is sponsored by Queensland Health through Clinical Excellence Queensland. To find out more, watch the video below or visit the Senate website.

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Last updated: 26 August 2019