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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

FOI delivers on medical mistakes,but oh so slowly

The 7 Network's headline grabbing Freedom of Information success (after eight months of trying) in getting access to information about medical errors in western Sydney public hospitals, including the fact that 19 procedures were carried out on the wrong patient or body part, and that 49 deaths may have been avoided if adequate care had been provided, gives rise to the obvious question raised by the NSW Opposition- why don't we have routine disclosure about performance in the health system?

Then there's the question about why disclosure comes only after a long drawn out and expensive battle for the applicant, and for the taxpayer who has funded the time of those resisting disclosure for all this time.

Increased transparency would contribute to improved performance and provide a much needed incentive for all in the system to do better.

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