Health Minister Lawrence Springborg.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg. David Nielsen

Waiting lists at Ipswich Hospital 'open to manipulation'

IPSWICH Hospital's near perfect record on waiting lists has been questioned in a report by Queensland's Auditor-General as being based on information that was unreliable and open to manipulation.

The Auditor-General's report into the performance of Queensland's public emergency departments in achieving targets, tabled in Parliament this week, raises serious doubts on the reliability of the Emergency Department Information System's statistics.

"Controls over ED data have been and remain, weak or absent. They do not provide sufficient assurance that the reported performance adequately reflects actual performance," the report states.

"The resulting lack of accountability for accurate and reliable EDIS data leaves the system open to manipulation."

Days before the report was tabled, Health Minister Lawrence Springborg announced the Government would take control of emergency department and surgical wait list reporting away from the department.

He said he would appoint the independent Health Ombudsman to audit and report on performance of Queensland public hospitals in reducing surgical waiting lists and treating patients on time.

"The LNP Government has been open and transparent about its performance and record in health and this will give the public even greater confidence in our public hospital system," Mr Springborg said.

Opposition Health spokeswoman Jo-Anne Miller said Mr Springborg needed to admit that his repeated claims to have improved emergency department performance have been based on potentially manipulated and unreliable data.

"The Minister for health cuts and closures, Lawrence Springborg, has been running around the state claiming the throughput of EDs has vastly improved under the LNP.

"But with the release of the Auditor-General's report we see his claims are built on shaky ground."

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