Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health

A message from Outgoing Commissioner Prof Derek Chew

19 Dec 2022

Farewell from the Out­go­ing Commissioner

It is cold in the air­lock of an emer­gency depart­ment. An elder­ly lady with a sus­pect­ed frac­tured hip lies on a nar­row gur­ney wait­ing to be seen. It is cold in the air­lock, but the triage nurse can find no oth­er place for her, as the emer­gency depart­ment is busy… it is always busy with oth­er trau­ma and med­ical emer­gen­cies… with oth­er peo­ple in their time of need. The ward beds are also full of patients with com­plex clin­i­cal needs too, but thank­ful­ly these also with nurs­es, allied health staff and doc­tors striv­ing to do their best in deliv­er­ing the care that our com­mu­ni­ty need. A warm blan­ket and a watch­ful car­ing eye will need to suf­fice for now…

This is our every­day, the typ­i­cal, the nor­mal, not the extra­or­di­nary. It is in the care and com­pas­sion of those who front-up every­day to lift the health and well­be­ing of our com­mu­ni­ty that defines the excel­lence” referred to in the Com­mis­sion for Excel­lence and Inno­va­tion in Health. It con­tin­ues to be the work of the CEIH to sup­port this front­line care through: engag­ing with clin­i­cians to under­stand how cur­rent care is pro­vid­ed and re-imag­ine how this care make be enhanced or improved; to invest in clin­i­cal teams and part­ner­ships to ener­gize the clin­i­cal change that is need­ed; and, embrac­ing inno­va­tions that promise greater effi­cien­cy and effec­tive­ness in the care we provide.

This marks the end of my time as the Com­mis­sion­er and as a clin­i­cian with­in the South Aus­tralian Health Sys­tem. Over the last 20 years, I have been giv­en the enor­mous priv­i­lege to have a small part to play in so many people’s lives, both patients and mem­bers of the health sys­tem. I will reflect on this time very fond­ly, the oppor­tu­ni­ty to be part of a com­mu­ni­ty ded­i­cat­ed to excel­lence in health care. Thank you for the col­lab­o­ra­tion, expe­ri­ence, and pur­suit of clin­i­cal excel­lence. I feel con­fi­dent that the South Aus­tralian health sys­tem is in a place where the con­tin­u­al strive to pro­vide bet­ter clin­i­cal care remains at the core of its DNA.


Please note: the CEIH now wel­comes South Aus­trali­a’s Chief Med­ical Offi­cer Dr Michael Cusack as Inter­im Commissioner.

Update [12 March 2024]: Please note that Pro­fes­sor Kei­th McNeil was appoint­ed Com­mis­sion­er of the CEIH on 3 March 2024.