The establishment of the Queensland Health Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clinical Network is a step in the right direction for health equity. Coordinated by Clinical Excellence Queensland, there are a range of Queensland Health Statewide clinical Networks that represent the independent peak body of expertise1 for Queensland with an aim ‘to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare’ through representation by clinicians and consumers.
There are 24 Statewide Clinical Networks, including the Cardiac Network, Child and Youth Network, and Trauma Network. These are consulted by Hospital and Health Services (HHSs) and the Department of Health with a focus on continuous quality improvement, policy development and evidence-based consensus.1
The newest Clinical Network is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clinical Network, inaugurally chaired by Dr Mark Wenitong. This new Clinical Network has been established to:
- Provide leadership, cultural and clinical expertise to drive system wide best practice through the identification, adoption and promotion of best practices and clinical/cultural policy.
- Share and support the development and implementation and replication of best practice approaches across the health system.
- Advocate for best practice clinical policy in matters related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
- Provide advice to Hospital and Health Services and Queensland Health on clinical quality and the safety implications of policy, planning and funding decisions.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clinical Network will be comprised of Co-Chairs, a Steering Committee and a broader General Network and seeks to include multidisciplinary representation, clinicians, consumers and community members. The Steering Committee will have a minimum of 75 per cent and the General Network of 50 per cent of members that are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.2
QAIHC supported the development of the Clinical Network and was represented in the establishment of the Terms of Reference and its primary roles and functions. Additionally, representatives consulted the QAIHC Clinical Leader’s Forum during the consultation period and feedback was provided. QAIHC provided recommendations for the proposed Clinical Network summarised in the table below:
The Queensland Health Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clinical Network is now seeking expressions of interest for the General Network membership. For further information and to place an expression of interest: clinicalexcellence.qld.gov.au/priority-areas/clinician-engagement/statewide-clinical-networks/queensland-aboriginal-torres-strait-islander