Health split likely to amplify troubles in health system

Turmoil in the health system will be amplified in the hurried divide of the ACT Health Directorate, Shadow Health Minister Vicki Dunne said.

On Monday 1 October, the ACT Health system will be divided into two separate agencies. It is still unclear if critical decisions surrounding the restructure such as finance, logistics and staff arrangements have been finalised.

“Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris’ answer to the troubled health system is to divide it,” Mrs Dunne said.

“She says dividing ACT Health into two separate health organisations will clear up lines of responsibility and future proof the healthcare system, yet other than the split itself, she has not been able to outline any tangible measures for fixing the system.

“Ms Fitzharris should be more specific about how the restructure will ‘future proof’ the health system from bullying, physical abuse of nursing staff, blown out waiting lists, chronic shortages of doctors, nurses and specialists, outdated infrastructure and bungled data.

“Apart from the removal of the former Director-General, the only tangible outcome of the divide is that it will create more uncertainty and anxiety for staff, according to documents released under freedom of information laws.

“The documents revealed there was a high likelihood the restructure would create anxiety for staff as they face job instability, and uncertainty around pay and conditions.

“I am concerned that this is an exercise to distract attention from the troubled health system rather than actually resolve it,” Mrs Dunne said.