Doctors Call For Independent Board To Run Royal North Shore Hospital – 28 September – 2007

An Independent Board comprising eminent people with proven competence in other fields should be appointed by the State Government to administer Royal North Shore Hospital as a matter of urgency.

The recommendation comes from the Australian Doctors’ Fund (ADF), a health policy think tank established in 1989.

The ADF has consistently advocated for the return of public hospitals to community ownership following the publication in 2005 of its report “Towards a More Positive Future for Australian Public Hospitals” at

Executive Director of the Australian Doctors’ Fund, Mr Stephen Milgate, said the problems of Royal North Shore and other hospitals will not be solved until there is a radical change in the way hospitals are administered.

“We must move from a model of State Government ownership and control to a new model, namely government funding with community ownership and control.”

This can be achieved quickly with the appointment of an Independent Board.

“Our senior doctors and nurses must also be invited to sit on this Independent Board in order to re-establish clinical leadership at the highest level.”

” The recent well-publicised experiences of patients at Royal North Shore, including two patients who miscarried whilst waiting for hospital care, are indicative of systematic failure” Mr Milgate said.

“The Area Health Board system of management has not delivered a consistent standard of health care in line with the public’s reasonable expectations. ”

It’s time to try a new approach.

The creation of an independent Community Board at Royal North Shore comprising recognised and highly regarded professionals and community leaders (not political appointees), would be a significant and positive move to free up this once great public teaching hospital from bureaucratic restraint, Mr Milgate said.

There can be a positive future if decision-makers are prepared to act decisively and urgently.