The Liberal’s Jeremy Hanson is banging the drum on claims that ACT Health is fluffing it’s numbers be reclassifying people needing surgery:
While the Minister was yesterday boasting of sipping rosés in the South of France on her recent holiday, she was yesterday unable to address the very serious allegations of manipulation of surgery lists that have been made by a patient and a doctor, Shadow Minister for Health Jeremy Hanson said today.
Last week a patient and a doctor both alleged that urgent elective surgery patients were being downgraded by ACT Health.
At the moment Colonel Hanson is only calling for Katy Gallagher to look into the matter herself.
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UPDATE: Mr. Hanson’s taking a second swing at this with more information coming to light:
During Question Time on Tuesday, this exchange occurred;
MR HANSON: Minister, would you consider it appropriate or in accordance with policy that ACT Health would be contacting doctors to ask that they downgrade their patients?
MS GALLAGHER: It would not be in accordance with the policy…
However, a letter tabled in the Assembly only a day later states:
“…If you accept this date, please re-categorise this patient as a 2a Staged Procedure and return by fax…” (ACT Health Letter to a doctor dated 13 October 2009)
“This letter confirms patients are being downgraded, not because their condition has improved, but because they cannot be operated on within 30 days. This practice has allowed Minister to boast that 95% of Urgent patients are operated on within the 30 days. This boast is utterly disingenuous and highlights the reality that Ms Gallagher can not be trusted with our elective surgery lists,” Jeremy Hanson said.
“When the letter emerged, the Minister suddenly changed her story and now claims that this practice is indeed policy and that she has no problems with it.