Gisborne Cervical Debacle
11th April 2001
GISBORNE CERVICAL DEBACLE
“The enormity of the tragedy faced by so many women over the Gisborne cervical screening debacle must never be forgotten and such incompetence in an essential public health service must never be permitted to be repeated again, said Hon Brian Donnelly, New Zealand First MP today.
“What is truly shameful about the findings however, is the lack of responsibility and accountability for the failure of the Ministry of Health to have adequately monitored and critiqued the work of the pathologist responsible, he said.
“The Health Ministry like all Government Departments are supposed to have become more accountable and responsible since the shake up of the State services some years ago. Chief Executive Officers and senior staff enjoyed huge salary increases at that time, and have continued to benefit from very generous income and condition packages, because they were said to be in danger of losing their jobs if they didn’t perform, ie they were to be held accountable.
“What an empty promise that has become, claimed Mr Donnelly, “far too often we see less than adequate outcomes for the public yet I don’t see mass sackings of those responsible in fact, I don’t even see an inkling of movement amongst those at the top of Government Departments who have performed as badly as has the Health Ministry over the hopelessly inadequate monitoring of cervical screening results.
I am saddened at the prospect of the outcome of this inquiry simply becoming yet another unfortunate outcome within the State system for which no one is held accountable and no one found responsible, Mr Donnelly said.
“The very least we can do for those Gisborne women whose lives have been shattered by this experience, and for those who may now hold fears as to the validity of tests they have undergone in other parts of the country also, is to assure them that those responsible will be held accountable, Mr Donnelly concluded.