Labor’s health split a disaster in the making

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Job stability, pay and conditions for ACT Health staff are under threat, while critical decisions remain undetermined as Labor hurriedly moves to split the health directorate, Shadow Health Minister Vicki Dunne said.

A ministerial brief obtained under Freedom of Information laws shows critical decisions surrounding finance, logistics, reporting and staff arrangements will not be finalised until September 28 – the last working day before the health restructure will take effect.

The brief, dated July 25, noted a likelihood for high anxiety among staff who face uncertainty about their futures. Some staff are likely to lose access to salary packaging benefits.

Mitigation strategies to help affected staff will not be looked at until after the split is finalised.

“Labor’s new health system has got off to a very bad start,” Mrs Dunne said.

“These documents show that little thought has been put into the restructure before July this year.

“Critical decisions on finance, logistics and staffing arrangements won’t be finalised until the eleventh hour, and in the meantime staff are being left in limbo.

“They have every right to feel anxious about that.

“Labor’s health system has been widely criticised for systemic bullying and poor leadership.

“The shambolic process revealed in these documents leaves little hope that these pressing issues will be addressed as a result of the split.

“Labor is hurrying through massive changes to a core area of public service without having taken necessary steps and measures to explore all options and mitigate damage.

“This is policy on the run, and it’s a disaster in the making,” Mrs Dunne concluded.

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