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Queensland Health to be dismantled

QLD’s largest government department to be split into two in wake of fraud scandal.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has announced she will dismantle Queensland Health and set up two new agencies in its place.

Bligh said one entity will focus on frontline services and manage hospitals while the second will be a support agency to provide corporate services, like finance and human resources.

"Queenslanders can no longer tolerate the sick administrative performance of this mammoth organisation," Bligh told reporters.

"For some time now the administration of Queensland Health has been suffering because the current organisation is just too big." She said the department had a culture that was beyond repair.
Queensland Health will cease operating on July 1, 2012.

Bligh has appointed Shane Solomon, national leader of KPMG's health practice and a former head of health in Hong Kong and Victoria, to oversee the changeover.

"I have asked that he report back to the first Cabinet of 2012, on January 23, with a detailed implementation plan to transform health administration," she said.

She said this will be the largest decentralisation of a public sector agency in Queensland's history.

Bligh admitted the decision to break up Queensland Health was triggered by the alleged theft of millions from the department. A public servant is alleged to have siphoned off $16 million over three years.

Scott Prasser, professor of public policy at the Australian Catholic University, said the timing of the move was inappropriate so close to a state election.

The Australian Medical Association Queensland President Dr Richard Kidd cautiously welcomed the split, but said the reforms can't just be a simple rebadging exercise.


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