Queensland’s health ombudsman will take over monitoring the performance of the state’s public hospitals following calls for more community oversight.

The performance of Queensland’s public hospitals will soon be tracked by an independent umpire instead of the state’s health department.

Queensland’s health ombudsman will audit and report data on how long patients at public hospitals must wait for surgery and emergency treatment from July 2015, Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says.

The information is currently managed by the state’s health department.

Mr Springborg said the government was responding to calls by the Australian Medical Association for more community oversight of Queensland Health facilities.

“This will give the public even greater confidence in our public hospital system,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

Mr Springborg said the latest quarterly report showed wait times for surgery continued to reduce and would soon fall into line with recommended time frames.

The ombudsman, Leon Atkinson-MacEwen, will report on more areas of public hospital performance in future, the health minister said.

The health ombudsman role was introduced by the Newman government to investigate complaints in the public health sector.

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said Mr Springborg’s announcement was “complete and utter spin” and it was well known there was a “waiting list for the waiting list”.

Ms Palaszczuk said the government didn’t care about people and had cut health staff across Queensland.

“There is nothing more important than ensuring that families get the right access to health services right across this state,” she told reporters on Sunday.

“And you can’t get the right access when you’ve cut 4800 health workers across Queensland.”