Beryl Crosby is hopeful that hospital performance statistics will soon be available online.
Beryl Crosby is hopeful that hospital performance statistics will soon be available online.

Hospital ranking website proposed

MEMBERS of the public would have access to data allowing them to compare Australia’s 768 public hospitals, under a plan being considered by the federal government.

Health minister Nicola Roxon would not confirm speculation yesterday that a My Hospital website was being considered, along the lines of the My School website, but the concept was welcomed by others.

Bundaberg Hospital Patient Support Group president Beryl Crosby was a supporter of the idea.

“I think it is a really good idea as long as it is used properly,” she said.

“It would give people a really good idea of how a hospital stands.”

Mrs Crosby said the public would need to use the site sensibly.

“People would need to look at the hospitals they are comparing,” she said.

“It would be no use comparing a hospital which does not take high-risk patients with one that does. It wouldn’t be fair.”

A federal health department spokesperson said the government was engaged in a comprehensive process of health reform and would announce details soon.

The site could provide information about individual hospitals, including infection rates and the size of elective surgery waiting lists published online.

Mrs Crosby said, while the site couldn’t be used to tell the public which hospital was best to go to, it would promote openness and accountability.

“It would really drive the need for improvement,” she said.

“It would also help similar hospitals share information on what they are doing right and wrong and help each other out.”

Mrs Crosby said hospitals had improved steadily in the past five years.

“There are always errors in hospitals and we need to look at how they handle them and make improvements,” she said.

Queensland health minister and deputy premier Paul Lucas also said he would like to see the website created.

“We would be very supportive of a nationally consistent reporting system,” he said.

“Queensland reports more data about our hospitals than any other state.”

Mr Lucas said he was keen to see data presented publicly.

“In July last year, I wrote to Minister Roxon expressing my concern about a lack of common data and benchmarking that exists across Australian jurisdictions to match Queensland’s high standards,” he said.

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