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Hospital performance czar appointed

The Federal Government has appointed a Canadian health performance expert as watchdog of the country’s hospital system, filling one of the key posts under its national health reform plan. Dr Diane Watson has been selected to be founding chief executive officer of the National Health Performance Authority, charged with reporting on the performance of all local hospital networks, public and private hospitals and primary healthcare organisations across the country.

17 Jun 2012

The Federal Government has appointed a Canadian health performance expert as watchdog of the country’s hospital system, filling one of the key posts under its national health reform plan.

Dr Diane Watson has been selected to be founding chief executive officer of the National Health Performance Authority, charged with reporting on the performance of all local hospital networks, public and private hospitals and primary healthcare organisations across the country.

Dr Watson brings to the position extensive local and international experience in assessing and disclosing the performance of health services, including in her most recent role as inaugural chief executive officer of New South Wales’ Bureau of Health Information, which provides publicly available reports on healthcare in the state.

Prior to moving to Australia in 2009, Dr Watson was director of research and analysis at the Health Council of Canada, which was established to monitor and report on the performance of the Canadian health system.

In her work, Dr Watson has created health system performance reports with the Canadian Institute for Health Information and Statistics and in 2005 she was a Harkness Fellow in the International Health Policy Program with the Commonwealth Fund.

In her most recent update as Bureau of Health Information chief executive, Dr Watson said the quality of healthcare provided in NSW compared favourably with that of other countries, including the United Kingdom, Switzerland and New Zealand.

But she highlighted shortfalls in the care provided to patients with chronic conditions, particularly the fact that only about half had a regular GP who knew them, was familiar with their health history and was readily accessible, warning that this gap in the system led to much higher rates of hospitalisation and emergency treatment than in comparable countries such as France.

AR


Published: 17 Jun 2012