Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 August 2010) . . Page.. 3383 ..
MR DOSZPOT: Minister, why have formal lines of responsibility been regularly breached?
MS GALLAGHER: I am not certain what that claim in the review relates to. Obviously some of the feedback that the reviewers were given was that there was uncertainty about how to pursue grievances—whether you went to the clinical director of the unit or whether you went to the executive director of the unit and, if you went to the executive director of the unit, what responsibility they had to go to the director of medical services within the hospital, the deputy general manager of the hospital or indeed the general manager of the hospital, and then again the responsibilities of the general manager of the hospital to respond to the Chief Executive of ACT Health. That is my understanding of the issues as they were raised—around perceptions of who to go to and, when you had been to that person, what responsibility they had to follow that on.
MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Hanson?
MR HANSON: Minister, given that it was you who did not appoint the new general manager of the hospital and have left that position vacant for so long, do you accept responsibility for the lack of cohesion and the lack of understanding of senior management’s roles and responsibilities?
MS GALLAGHER: I accept all responsibility for matters relating to ACT Health, and I think nobody can say that I do not. That position has not been vacant; there has just not been a permanent appointment made to that position, pending the successful recruitment to the position of Chief Executive of ACT Health.
Alongside this, and a very important policy development as we have been working through this, has been the impact of the national health reforms and how they relate to those positions within the hospital. Whilst the opposition is napping, the rest of Australia is actually seeking to implement national health reform. That comes with quite significant change to roles and responsibilities within hospitals, including the establishment of a local hospital network. Some of the issues relating to that include: how do we appoint a general manager for the local hospital network when we have our own local issues here around the management of Calvary and Canberra hospitals? So there have been a number of issues which have delayed permanent appointment to structures within ACT Health, but we are very well underway. We have had a series of sessions with clinical staff about how to improve the roles and responsibilities within ACT Health as a whole and how they impact on TCH. That work has fed into the restructure document which is currently being consulted on.
MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Hanson?
MR HANSON: Minister, what impact has the lack of cohesion had on our poor performance for elective surgery and emergency department waiting times?
MS GALLAGHER: I think the issues facing ACT Health around elective surgery management are not to do with the operations necessarily of management roles within