WEST Moreton health officials have rejected claims by Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller that the appointment of four temporary business analysts is a move to investigate outsourcing services.
Mrs Miller raised in parliament last week that the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service was searching to fill the positions of business intelligence officers. She was sceptical about the motive behind it.
Service chief executive officer Lesley Dwyer said the appointment of the officers as A07 ranked staff, on salaries of $91,000 on three-month contracts, was to analyse data and identify efficiencies.
"The skills required by these officers are critical in providing detailed information to our clinicians to help them improve service delivery for our patients," she said.
Mrs Miller told parliament the positions were advertised on seek.com.au, listing the key tasks as monitoring and providing expert advice regarding the implications of contract negotiations. It also included investigating alternative models of care and providing business cases on the implications of change.
"These positions are only for three months," she said.
"They will have a look at the numbers and then they will look at privatisation of Ipswich Hospital services.
"It's clear the West Moreton health service is beating around the bush. These officers are for privatisation, full stop."
Ms Dwyer denied the claims, saying the short-term positions were not related to the coming budget or to find further savings.
"The recruitment of business intelligence officers has absolutely nothing to do with contestability or privatisation and any suggestion to the contrary is incorrect."
She said the positions would become permanent once an advertising campaign was ready.
"The recruitment of these officers is a new initiative which will help us meet our commitments," Ms Dwyer said.
"Their role is to analyse data and identify areas where we can improve or do things more efficiently.
"This is something that I feel is very important to help bring our health service into the future.
"Accurate data analysis will be crucial in helping us plan for the future healthcare needs of this community."
Ipswich MP Ian Berry said all board members were from the Ipswich region.
"The local community, through the board, are now responsible for determining the community's health needs and how best to deliver hospital and health care in the greater Ipswich region," he said.