The Boards Ministerial Advisory Committee has been established to advise the Minister for Health on board appointments and board capability.

Minister for Health the Hon. Jill Hennessy MP has appointed four risk and governance experts to form the Boards Ministerial Advisory Committee (BMAC) to help guide the skill and experience of hospital board members, particularly in clinical governance.

Boards are responsible for governing their health service, setting the strategy, overseeing financial and service performance, responding and adapting to challenges such as population and changing demographics, and ensuring the health service meets regulatory, legal and government policy requirements and standards. Shortfalls in board governance and the skill set of some board members were identified in Targeting zero, the review of hospital safety and quality assurance in Victoria (Targeting Zero) by Dr Stephen Duckett to eliminate avoidable harm and strengthen quality of care in hospitals.

BMAC will work closely with the Department of Health and Human Services to assess the skills of health service boards and board directors, identify potential candidates, develop innovative approaches to address shortfalls and ensure boards are highly skilled, independent and effective.

BMAC's establishment and membership

BMAC was established in response to recommendation 2.4 of Targeting Zero.

BMAC consists of four members:

  • Ms Fran Thorn (Chair)
  • Mr George Braitberg (clinical expertise; board director of Barwon Health)
  • Mr Peter Lewinsky (finance, audit and risk expertise; board director of Ambulance Victoria)
  • Ms Paula Shelton (law and governance expertise; board director of Northern Health).

Each member has been chosen as they represent an area of expertise that will facilitate identification of skills gaps on the relevant boards, and allow an effective assessment of the qualifications and experience of potential board appointees.

BMAC's functions

The functions of BMAC are:

  • providing advice to the Minister for Health on how to ensure all boards are highly skilled, independent and effective. This includes activities such as overseeing and improving the board appointment process, and developing clear guidelines and means of assessing the required skill mix and experience for boards
  • setting expectations for ongoing professional development of board members
  • providing advice on how skill gaps are best addressed.