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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 August 2010) . . Page.. 3327 ..

them. She was not prepared to consider that they might have a case and that some of what they said might be correct. She ignored them. She attacked them.

I will go through some of those quotes from the health minister in terms of the concerns raised by doctors. She said:

I think there is a fair bit of doctor politics and mud-slinging in how it has unfolded in the media over the past week … I believe that something good can come out of the way that this mud-slinging has occurred, and I do believe it is mud-slinging.

Is it mud-slinging to raise legitimate concerns? Is it mud-slinging to bring this to the attention of the community and the minister? I would have thought that the minister would be desperate to get to the bottom of these problems. But perhaps it was because it highlighted what she has not been doing for the past few years that her reaction was as it has been.

So was it just mud-slinging? What does the review say? Let us look at the review. There are a number of findings. I will not have time to go through all of them but no doubt my colleagues will touch on some of the others. It starts by saying:

The current review panel did not have access to the conclusions, recommendations and subsequent actions for most of these reviews … There was a general feeling of tension amongst all levels of management … The review panel identified an apparent systematic and long-standing reticence by management …

Ms Gallagher interjecting—

MR SESELJA: Perhaps the health minister should listen to this:

The review panel identified an apparent systematic and long-standing reticence by management to address disruptive or inappropriate behaviour by certain medical staff.

Did she know about this? Did she ask questions about it? Did she care? Did she find out? Apparently not, because when there were concerns raised along these lines, she said: “It’s just mud-slinging. It’s just doctor politics.” This review, commissioned by the government, says otherwise. This review says that this minister has not done her job properly. This review highlights how poorly she has managed the health system. It goes on to say:

Both medical and midwifery staff reported that they had discussed their concerns about disruptive behaviour within the unit with their line manager and with various executive team members; however they did not believe these issues were addressed. Several staff reported that they had been asked to put their concerns in writing and understood that unless the issue was put in writing no action could be taken. These staff indicated considerable reticence to become directly involved in a formal disciplinary process, particularly when this involved a senior clinician with whom they work on a daily basis. Those who indicated that they had written to the responsible manager felt their complaints had not been followed through. Many of the staff appeared to demonstrate a culture of learned helplessness.

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