Page 4334 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013
There is evidence to indicate that hospital records relating to Emergency Department performance were manipulated between 2009 and early 2012. It is likely that up to 11,700 records in relation to Emergency Department presentations were manipulated during this period.
There were a range of other issues as well, Mr Assistant Speaker. You might recall that in, I think, 2010 there were allegations raised by another group of doctors that there was bullying in the obstetrics department. Again the minister denied this. “Stop throwing stones and damaging the unit.” “All I’ve seen is a lot of mud being slung and no substantiation,” she said on 18 February in the Canberra Times.
They went on to attack the doctors and threaten them with an audit of all complaints to the medical boards over the last 10 years that involved obstetricians. Quite rightly, the AMA came out and saw that as a witch-hunt. So there were these categorical denials about allegations raised by doctors. Again, when the clinical review came out, it said:
The review panel identified an apparent systemic and long-standing reticence by management to address disruptive or inappropriate behaviour … medical and midwifery staff reported 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.
We have a situation where doctors, doctors’ groups and a letter from Calvary raised very serious concerns about the manipulation of the procedures that allow patients who have been waiting on elective surgery waiting lists to wait longer than they should. The government have denied this, and they have attacked the doctors, accusing them of lying. And we have seen form, because when an investigation is then conducted we find out what the truth is. Given this government’s form, until we have such an independent investigation there will be no satisfaction for me, for the doctors, for the community, or importantly, for those waiting on the lists, that they are not again being lied to by this government.
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Health and Minister for Higher Education) (5.07): The government will not be supporting the motion, but I have circulated an amendment. I move the amendment that has been circulated in my name:
Omit all words after “That this Assembly:”, substitute:
“(1) notes that:
(a) the report of the Auditor-General in January 2011 Waiting Lists for Elective surgery and Medical Treatment concluded that:
‘management of the waiting lists for elective surgery and medical treatments is a complex process that be influenced by practices of various parties within the system, including doctors, and by a number of factors, some of which are outside the control of ACT Health’;