Self Regulation in CQ RAICCHO

To give real meaning to the concept of Self Regulation, the Member Services of CQ RAICCHO adopted amendments to the Constitution at a Special General Meeting on 18th February 2014, which included authorisations for the Board of Directors to ensure continuity of primary health care services by a Member under certain prescribed circumstances of risk.

The Directors were concerned that an administrator had been appointed by a funding body to take control of the financial management of a Member – Barambah Regional Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation (BRMSAC). Also, in the opinion of the Board, BRMSAC lacked the capacity to continue to deliver primary health care services to its target community – the Aboriginal community of Cherbourg and the surrounding towns. These circumstances placed BRAMSAC in breach of the amended Constitution.

This was a test case for Self Regulation. Rather than suspend or even expel the Member, the Directors unanimously decided to invoke the Members’ Charter, which had also been adopted at the same Special General Meeting, specifically the clause where each Member Service agrees to “work together with the CQ RAICCHO and the other members to build sustainable programs and services for the prevention and early intervention in healthcare and disease control to;

A. reduce the impacts of disease;
B. improve the delivery of health services
for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within their communities”.

With the full support of BRMSAC’s Nominated Director, CQ RAICCHO’s Board approved the establishment of an executive Joint Management Committee (JMC) to take over the operational, day-to-day management of the Service, referring to the Board of BRMSAC recommendations and decisions of the JMC which legally had to be authorised by the BRMSAC Board. The Independent Chairperson of CQ RAICCHO and the Nominated Director of BRMSAC signed the Terms of Reference that the CQ RAICCHO Board approved for this executive Joint Management Committee, and the Board of BRMSAC also formally endorsed the Terms of Reference.

Because this is the first case we know of in Queensland of Self Regulation by a RAICCHO working with a Member Service which would be considered ‘at risk’, we reproduce the relevant extracts from the Terms of Reference.

Barambah Reform Agenda – Extracts from the Agreement for an executive Joint Management Committee