Dr WOODRUFF question to MINISTER for HEALTH, Mr FERGUSON
The most scathing finding from the Auditor-General's report is the absence of effective leadership and accountability to change a health service culture deeply resistant to change which suffers from a 'dysfunctional silo mentality' - their words. Your Tasmanian Health Service has failed to coordinate and integrate the reforms of two previous reviews, which have now both stalled. You said today in the Mercury that there is no silver bullet to fix the waiting times and bed block, which shows you are utterly deaf to the Auditor-General's findings. If you had the heart and tenacity to tackle the organisational toxic culture and improve discharge management, the Auditor-General found that you would be able to create 3000 more bed days every year without a cost to the Budget. Why would any Tasmanian concerned about our hospital's emergency dysfunction have any confidence that you are prepared to do the hard, cultural work needed to stop patients dying unnecessarily?
Madam Speaker, my guarantee is that we are putting in the hard yards. We have been working very hard.
Dr Woodruff - Five years, and it is worse.
Madam SPEAKER - Order, Dr Woodruff, warning number two.
Mr FERGUSON - Unlike some people, who have run away from the Health portfolio, I am here to deliver on behalf of this Government. We were elected by the people who support our plan our plan for Health and they look to us to lead and guide us through important continuing reform. I have embraced the Auditor-General's report. It is helpful, constructive to the task and the Government is not interested in petty point scoring which advances nobody's interest. The cultural issues are as important as our service improvements in building and opening more capacity.
Dr Woodruff - Three thousand bed days.
Mr FERGUSON - Hello, I talked about this during the morning. We are embracing it and we are fully aware of those challenges being experienced.
Dr Woodruff - Just do it.
Madam SPEAKER - Order, Dr Woodruff, warning number three. If you interrupt again, I have to ask you to leave.
Mr FERGUSON - Different people might want to grab a headline today but that will not help anybody. The superficial petty politics played does not advance anybody. The Government has opened more capacity and we look to continuing advice, including this from the Auditor-General, which helps show us a way to provide further improvements. For some people in the health system, the Auditor-General's report will be very challenging because it does point to the need for cultural as well as governance improvements. We have to work together on this because if it -
Dr Woodruff - It is the patients who find it challenging because they are dying.