Interview with Chris McGowan, Chief Executive Department Of Health And Wellbeing, South Australia

20 Jul 2018

Thank you for giving HardyGroup the time for this interview for HGinSight. You have been in the role for nearly 3 months. I have a series of questions so let’s start.

1. What were your first reactions to the organisation when you started?

I found people to be very positive and welcoming. What I registered was that our people were very capable, very clever and hard working. There was an openness and transparency that was very pleasing and satisfying from delivering services for those who access them, striving to achieve high performance levels, and, a welcoming culture that had a sense of pride about what could be delivered, sometimes under significant pressure.

There was an openness and transparency that was very pleasing and satisifying…

2. What are the key system issues to be addressed and get right as building blocks for future success?

  1. Health has to catch up and build a digital estate that covers all of Health in its broadest sense. It needs to be a complete collective data estate which is one continual knowledge and learning base that allows us to achieve better patient treatment and outcomes
  2. Building a root and branch Leadership program that invests in our people both clinical and generalist/administrative. This will allow us to ‘grow our own’ and build capacity and capability
  3. Find Disruptive strategies and models to give people care at home. Those models should be better, cheaper, more convenient and better value

3. What does a Health and Wellbeing system mean to you?

The core elements of the system would be access, quality intervention and value for money.

I think it is important to deliver a system where the community/population is confident that the system is there for them and where the community is looking out for and after each other.

We have to get the value right in terms of intervention services in the right place at the right time at the right price and be of high quality. Those services need to be at a comparative cost and value. It is important to talk about money and value.

We need to ensure people at most risk have access to services no matter what their socio economic status is.

4. If it is 2023 what do you imagine SA Health and Wellbeing will look like for the people of SA?

The community is confident in the health system in the best possible way. They believe in and trust it. That it will be cohort based healthcare and that there are programs in place for high need individuals/cohorts tailor made for them. There will be an end to end model “not stitched together bits”.

We need to know our data and who are our “frequent flyers”. We need to be Data driven not responding to the loudest voice.

We will have strong clinical engagement in decision making.

In other words we will be a rapid response system with first rate technology, and, knowledgeable people who are there to serve the community.

5. What is the role of culture in a system?

Culture is our biggest asset. I want us to unleash a culture where working in health is a privilege because of the nature of the work. I want to ignite our enthusiasm for what we can achieve and for whom in terms of the community’s health. That there is a sense that every day is worthwhile and that we appreciate and celebrate how people are treated. Culture is about Care and Connectedness.

6. What do you look for in Leaders?

I value people with a strong internal locus of control. I value people who take responsibility and hold themselves to account. I value people who want to work together to create an integrated system that delivers the best care in the best place at the best price and where there is pride in the quality and connectedness of our services for the people of SA.

I am passionate about what can be achieved over the next 3-5 years