Page 958 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2023

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25 recommendations of the board of inquiry that was called into Dhulwa and that Carers ACT would be invited to participate in— (Time expired.)

Canberra Health Services—data security

MS CASTLEY: My question is to the Minister for Mental Health. Minister, I refer to a statement from Carers ACT about the patient privacy breaches at Dhulwa. That statement contains the following:

We firmly believe that trust in health professionals to respect privacy and dignity is central to the commitment to treatment and recovery in the mental health sector and sharing of confidential patient files without knowledge or consent is unacceptable.

It goes on:

It goes against our expectations of ethical, empathetic and caring behaviour.

It is also reported that Carers ACT said that they are seeking a meeting with Minister for Mental Health Emma Davidson and Canberra Health Services Chief Executive Dave Peffer about the alleged breaches. Minister, do you accept that the conduct of people directly under your portfolio management has gone against expectations of ethical, empathetic and caring behaviour?

MS DAVIDSON: As I said in my previous answer to Mr Hanson, it goes against the ACT government’s expectations of ethical, empathetic and caring behaviour. I have scheduled a meeting with Carers ACT and the CEO of CHS to discuss this. It is absolutely unacceptable.

MS CASTLEY: Minister, why haven’t you met with Carers ACT about these specific matters, given that you knew about these breaches from early February?

MS DAVIDSON: As I have said many times in this chamber, there are external investigations underway and it is not appropriate for me to be discussing the personal, private details of people whose wellbeing is at the centre of what should be a proper justice process. I regularly discuss matters with Carers on a range of different issues, and they have been named as one of the organisations that we are inviting to participate in the committee that is overseeing the implementation of the Dhulwa inquiry recommendations.

MR HANSON: Minister, why would you consider it appropriate to reach out to meet with the union but not with Carers ACT?

MS DAVIDSON: As I have said previously in this place, once we knew the extent of the breach of privacy, I contacted the ANMF’s ACT branch secretary and the CEO of CHS, as the heads of the organisations employing the staff members involved, to ask them to reassure me about how they would comply with their legal obligations and to discuss the trust issues created by this privacy breach.

I got an email back from the CEO of CHS within hours, confirming that he would be available to meet. I received a letter from the ANMF ACT branch secretary’s lawyers


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