Health Minister Michael Ferguson’s dedication to avoiding responsibility for the findings of the Deloitte report into the dysfunctional Tasmanian Health Service executive would be comical if it did not involve the wellbeing of patients. He needs to rechannel his energy into negotiating the legislative changes that are urgently needed to fix the system.
Since his admission over the weekend that the executive management of THS is toxic and dysfunctional, Minister Ferguson has played word games about whether the report existed, and when he received it, rather than working to fix the problems it exposes.
Doctors, nurses, the Greens and Labor have been united in calling for reform of the THS management, and returning a voice to hospital staff, for more than six months.
Minister Ferguson appears to have known for over a month that urgent action is required. But instead of doing his job, he has dragged his feet on the issue and now wants patients and staff across the state to wait until June next year for parliament to act.
Doctors, nurses and patients cannot wait until the middle of next year, during the winter flu season, to fix a moribund THS Executive.
Parliament could return in early January to pass legislation allowing reforms to begin immediately.
The Greens will negotiate in good faith with the Liberals and Labor, on the legislation required to get a functioning hospital management structure. Sate election campaigning cannot take precedence over patient care.