Former independent ACT Health Minister, Michael Moore, yesterday added considerable weight to the Opposition’s repeated allegation that Labor is failing Canberrans through serious mismanagement of the ACT health system.
In an article in the City News yesterday, the former Health Minister has echoed criticisms by the Shadow Health Minister, Mrs Giulia Jones MLA, has levelled at Labor for months.
Shadow Health Minister, Mrs Giulia Jones, has repeatedly taken the Barr government to task for the management of ACT hospitals, which year-after-year have recorded the worst emergency department waiting times in the country.
Only weeks ago, Mrs Jones moved a motion the ACT Legislative Assembly drawing attention to the government’s failures in the health system.
In that motion, Mrs Jones pointedly confronted the ACT Health Minister, Rachel Stephen‑Smith MLA, with a promise she made on ABC News in January this year to “fix” hospital weighting times within nine months.
Now, Michael Moore has also called the ACT Health Minister out on her broken promise.
In the City News, Mr Moore wrote:
“Hang your head in shame, ACT Labor. Hang your head in shame, ACT Health Minister, Rachel Stephen-Smith.
“There is no one else to blame.
“Just after you [Labor] came into government in 2002-03 the ACT waiting times in emergency departments were amongst the best in Australia. They are now the worst”.
Mr Moore said the story on elective waiting times is similar, and the Australian Medical Association and Mrs Jones were right to lay the blame for the poor performance in our hospitals at the foot of the Barr government.
“Michael Moore identified funding is a central issue, he says ACT funding has been eroded but Commonwealth funding has increased,” Mrs Jones said.
“I’ve been drawing attention to the serious failures for months and it is very concerning that this Government repeatedly twists and turns and refuses to confront the reality of its poor performance.
“It is particularly pleasing that a former independent Health Minister has now echoed my criticism.
“This is an important issue. This is the national capital, and this city deserves far better,” Mrs Jones concluded.