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ACT Health data errors a disgrace: Hanson

By Charlotte Harper - 17 May 2016 2

Jeremy Hanson

ACT Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Health Jeremy Hanson said today that the requirement for alterations this week to ACT Health records including emergency department data was “an utter disgrace”, and that the ACT Government had misled the public in previously publishing the incorrect data.

“It has been revealed that ACT Health ED data was changed after it was originally published,” Mr Hanson said today.

“This happened on not one occasion, but over a period of years. The December 2014 and December 2015 Quarterly Reports have been altered.”

ACT Health Minister Simon Corbell told The Canberra Times this morning that the mistakes were unintentional and would be corrected and reissued later this week.

“I am very disappointed this has occurred and I have made this clear to my directorate who have put a number of new processes in place,” he told the newspaper. “These are clearly human and isolated errors.”

Mr Hanson said the errors meant information provided to the Commonwealth for grants purposes may have been wrong, and that other records, such as annual reports, would have to be withdrawn and reissued to reflect the true results. However, a spokesman for Mr Corbell said only quarterly reports were affected.

He said the data affected was in the same area of the health system where deliberate alterations occurred in 2012.

“This is an utter disgrace. Apparently no lessons have been learned, no safeguards were put in place, and this government still can’t produce accurate records that can be trusted.”

Mr Corbell told The Canberra Times that the human error had occurred in data processing in two instances only, and said there was no connection to incidents between 2009 and 2011 when a hospital executive admitted to falsifying emergency department data entries to give the impression that performance had approved.

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