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Commission of Inquiry into LGH Abuse Needed

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Tags: Child Abuse, Launceston General Hospital, Health, Justice, Commission of Inquiry

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson

The allegations a child sex offender was working as a nurse on the paediatrics ward at the Launceston General Hospital for nearly 20 years are distressing.

Parents, former patients and staff at the LGH are struggling to come to terms with allegations that children were abused over nearly two decades. 

Following the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation’s calls for a Commission of Inquiry, the Greens questioned the Health Minister in Parliament today. 
The Greens have been contacted by current and former LGH staff, worried about a pervasive culture of blame shifting. They are concerned it is preventing uncovering how Tasmania’s health system failed young children and enabled an abuser’s behaviour to continue. 
There are also allegations of prior complaints being made about the individual in question that went nowhere. 
The government’s independent investigation has limited Terms of Reference. It only examines THS systems and does not address hospital culture or individual actions or cases. As it stands, it won’t address concerns of staff, parents or victims. 
This abuse being investigated occurred over 18 years at the LGH. That same person was also employed at the Ashley Youth Detention Centre, on the Spirit of Tasmania and was a long-time volunteer in community sporting organisations. 
Emily Shepherd from the ANMF is right when she says, “we have to get everything out in the open”. That is what is owed to those who may have suffered abuse, or who have fears for those they love. 
The Greens urge the Health Minister to listen to the ANMF, LGH staff and the Launceston community, and establish a Commission of Inquiry. We must make sure this can never happen again.