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    Premier & Treasurer
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Six-Point Action Plan To Produce Results From Morris Inquiry

    Premier & Treasurer
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Friday, September 02, 2005

    Six-Point Action Plan To Produce Results From Morris Inquiry

    The Queensland Government has a six-point action plan to ensure information gained by the Bundaberg Hospital Commission of Inquiry produces results.

    "We will finish the job we started," said Premier Peter Beattie today (Friday).

    "There will be justice for the people of Bundaberg.

    "We have learned a lot from more than 5,000 pages of evidence, more than 300 exhibits, nearly 60 submissions, six discussion papers and a 43-page interim report.

    "That work will not be wasted. We will complete the process and fix Queensland Health."

    The six-point action plan:

    1 The Crime and Misconduct Commission will deal with any issue which could involve official misconduct.

    2 A new, streamlined compensation process will be available for patients of Dr Jayant Patel.

    3 The Queensland Health Systems Review, being run by Peter Forster, will deal with all information which points to the need for improvements to administrative, workforce and performance management systems to recommend how Queensland Health can provide better results for Queenslanders.

    4 The Queensland Police Service will continue its investigation following the recommendation from the Inquiry that Dr Patel should be prosecuted.

    5 The State Coroner will continue his inquiries into the deaths of Bundaberg Hospital patients.

    6. We will establish a special legal unit of Crown Law officers in the Department of Justice and Attorney-General to review all evidence and refer: - allegations of criminality to the Queensland Police Service; - allegations of wrongful death to the Queensland Police Service and the State Coroner; - allegations of official misconduct to the Crime and Misconduct Commission; - systemic issues relating to the administration of Queensland Health to the Forster review; - allegations relating to questions of medical practice to either the Health Rights Commission of Queensland or the Medical Board of Queensland.

    Mr Beattie said: "To enable this to happen, Justice Moynihan has ordered that the Inquiry's records be placed in the custody of the Director-General of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Rachel Hunter.

    "I want to assure everyone who has been hoping for positive change as a result of the Inquiry that there will, indeed, be positive change.

    "For instance, nurses who want a culture where it is clear that bullying will not be tolerated will find that Peter Forster's review of health systems will deliver recommendations on bullying.

    "And I agree with Justice Moynihan who, in responding to the Patients' Support Group submission that the inquiry should not be shut down, suggested there were ways for the Executive Government to achieve the outcomes that the patients would be looking for.

    "The patients' lawyer, Ian Brown, is reported to have said that patients should not have to suffer the trauma of giving their evidence all over again. We will not do that to them.

    "I make it very clear to everyone that we have to accept the umpire's decision.

    "The Nationals want us to get involved in a long, drawn out battle in the courts and spend another $5.6 million on starting another Inquiry - all of which could take us well into next year.

    "As always, the Nationals have the wrong priorities.

    "The choice is simple - a long, drawn-out battle in the courts or fixing the health system now, with the $5.6 million which a second Inquiry would cost channelled into fixing health.

    "Peter Forster is due to deliver his recommendations for reforming and improving Queensland Health on September 30.

    "I am committed to acting on those recommendations and the information gained from the Inquiry, starting on October 1."

    Contact: 3224 4500 September 2, 2005.