For those coming in late the health statistics scandal can be roughly summarised like this:
- — To meet political imperatives a group of senior people, of which only one has been identified, in the health directorate engaged in massive widespread forgery of emergency department data (12,700 records altered).
— The health directorate has announced they feel no need to attempt to identify the other culprits, who presumably retain senior positions, with the ongoing ability to fiddle the numbers, perhaps more subtly in future.
— The Chief Minister (also the Health Minister) Katy Gallagher’s sister was working for Kate Jackson, the only identified data manipulator
All of this was pretty much known on 3 July when the Auditor-General released her findings and the ACT Government responded trying to shove the whole thing under the rug.
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The only new development is that Kate Jackson has resigned which is a travesty in itself as she should have been sacked first, after being compelled to reveal who she was working with.
On to yesterday’s events.
Basically all the Liberals have gotten out of two days of hearings is one piece of joyful selective quoting of the Chief Minister:
In an extraordinary admission today under questioning in a Public Accounts Committee hearing about the health scandal, Katy Gallagher admitted she had been around ‘too long’ as Health Minister.
“We need a Health Minister with energy and enthusiasm for the task, not a Minister who admits that she has hung around too long,” Mr Hanson concluded.
This has given the Chief Minister the chance to play the wounded soldier:
More silly Liberal games today. True to form the Canberra Liberals are taking comments I made today out of context. This should be no surprise to anyone who watches ACT politics closely.
For those who weren’t tuned into the Public Accounts Committee hearing into Emergency Department performance today, right at the end of proceedings I made a light hearted comment about the life expectancy of a health minister and the fact that I have lasted longer than most.
Health Minister’s don’t have a long life expectancy. I’ve said it a number of times. The health portfolio is a difficult one for any administration of any political persuasion. I am the second longest serving health minister in the country. I’ve seen plenty of us come and go. It’s the nature of the work – bad headlines, human stories, increasing demand for services that know no budgetary discipline. But it’s also a story of saving lives, immense dedication and incredible human skills.
Amazingly she manages to make not one mention of the vast systemic fraud against the public she presided over.
But my god does she care:
I’m not doing my job to be “popular”. I do my job because I care and I want to improve the city my family and I live in.