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ICAC to begin ‘evaluation’ of major SA health network

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The Independent Commission Against Corruption will today start an evaluation of the state’s largest health network including the Royal Adelaide and The Queen Elizabeth hospitals as part of checking systems to stop corruption in public administration.

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The corruption watchdog’s deputy commissioner Paul Alsbury announced yesterday afternoon the evaluation would target specific aspects of the practices, policies and procedures of the Central Adelaide Local Health Network, as they relate to the receipt, management, investigation and outcomes of complaints about the Network and its staff.

“Unlike an investigation, an evaluation is not directed at specific allegations of impropriety,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“Rather, an evaluation allows the Commission to examine a public authority’s practices, policies and procedures, highlighting those which properly safeguard against corruption and identifying any weaknesses or opportunities for improvement.”

The local health network includes the Royal Adelaide Hospital, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre, Statewide Rehabilitation Services and mental health services at the Glenside Health Service.

It also delivers a range of specialised community and clinical health services across the state, including Statewide Clinical Support Services, which includes SA Pathology, BreastScreen SA, SA Medical Imaging and Pharmacy SA.

“It is important that employees of the Network, and the community, can be confident that complaints and investigations are dealt with appropriately and consistently,” Alsbury said in the statement.

“Complaints and investigations are a rich source of intelligence that can assist an agency to maintain high standards of integrity.”

In a statement of its own yesterday, CALHN said it had undergone major changes to improve governance and “create a culture of integrity and safety” in the past few years.

“While we are heading in the right direction, we acknowledge that we still have more work to do to improve our network, and we encourage staff to participate and provide feedback in support the commission’s evaluation,” it said.

Alsbury said he intended to deliver a report on the evaluation to both houses of SA’s parliament by the end of the year.

The evaluation follows a similar evaluation of TAFE SA announced by ICAC Commissioner Ann Vanstone last month.

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