After the unconventional announcement three weeks ago to split ACT Health into two separate directorates, Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris today failed to justify the move, Shadow Health Minister Vicki Dunne said.
“This is perhaps the largest restructuring project ever undertaken in the ACT public service and the Minister has offered nothing more than a media statement by way of justification,” Mrs Dunne said.
“After questioning in the Assembly today, the Minister could not explain how the move would improve the operations of Canberra’s health services or the administration of health policies.
“This is inept, and it is also disrespectful. The Health Directorate commands a quarter of the ACT budget; $1.4 billion of taxpayers’ money in 2017-18.
“With such an important announcement, it would be reasonable to expect the Minister to make a formal statement in the Assembly, leaving the way open for debate.
“It would give members of the Assembly and the people of Canberra a chance to understand what the new structure will look, how it will operate, and what it will cost taxpayers.
“Many people who have encountered Canberra’s health system have experienced unnecessary and prolonged pain and suffering. They, and all Canberrans, deserve to know how the splitting of ACT Health will improve patients’ access to quality treatment in Canberra.
“Further, a statement might have removed doubt surrounding the summary resignation of ACT Health’s high-performing Director-General Nicole Feely.
“It is clear after today that this is policy-making on the run with no clear outcomes, no efficiencies, no savings and certainly no improvement to the public hospital waiting times,” Mrs Dunne concluded.