Liberals move to censure Health Minister

Today the Canberra Liberals sought leave to censure the Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris for her failures in the administration of the Health portfolio.
Since the Canberra Liberals issued a want of confidence in the Health Minister in May this year, Canberra’s health system has continued to lurch from crisis to crisis, without hope of a resolution in sight. The failings of the Health Minister must be addressed.
Claims of systemic bullying, poor culture and poor management in the health system continue to go unanswered.
The pseudo-inquiry into ACT Health’s workplace culture does not have the power to investigate allegations of bullying, nor provide legal protections to witnesses and panel members.
Since the announcement to split the health system, the high churn of staff in ACT Health has created uncertainty and instability for staff and patients.
An alarming number of health staff are taking unplanned leave due to mental stress.
We have worsening elective surgery and emergency departments waiting times, despite the Minister’s repeated assurances that they were improving.
Meanwhile, hospital staff are urging patients to contact the Health Minister directly to complain about the wait times.
There are ongoing failures in infrastructure at Canberra Hospital, causing interruptions to health services due to partial shutdowns of sections of the hospital. Numerous infrastructure issues were identified as early as 2016, that we know of, but continue to go unattended.
And of course, there has been significant delays to the delivery of the Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency building, a 2016 ACT Labor election commitment.
The Canberra Liberals continue to hear the harrowing accounts of patients and current and former hospital staff who are desperate for intervention.
The Health Minister’s refusal to respond to these critical failures must rightly be condemned.
Instead of debating these grave matters today in accordance with long standing parliamentary practice, the Chief Minister has deferred the debate to tomorrow without reassuring the Assembly of his confidence in the Health Minister.
Neither the Chief Minister nor his Greens colleagues had the conviction to stand up in defence of the Health Minister today, as is customary.