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King confirms role in delaying report

King confirms role in delaying report

Wednesday 16 Mar 2005

Heather Roy - Press Releases - Health

Health Minister Annette King has not denied that she was involved in a decision to withhold a damning report into the Government's Primary Health Organisation's, ACT Health spokesman Heather Roy said today.

Mrs Roy asked Mrs King in Parliament why it had taken six months and intervention by the Ombudsman before the "Review of Primary Health Organisation Management Services" report was finally released to this week.

Mrs Roy asked for the August 2004 report under the Official Information Act last September. Her request was refused and she appealed to the Ombudsman, who then forced the release of the report which she received this week and was made public at the same time.

Mrs King told Mrs Roy her request had been made to the Director General of Health, not the health minister

Yet, when asked by Mrs Roy whether she was saying she had not been consulted, advised or in any way connected with the decision not to release the report, Mrs King said "No."

The daming report slams the Government's Primary Health Organisations strategy, with a litany of serious criticisms.

It found there were deficiencies in performance monitoring, reporting requirements, business planning, quality management and a lack of financial information that prevented the report's authors from identifying relevant costs for PHO's.

"Mrs King, who proclaims herself to be the Minister of Transparency and Accountability, has employed every trick in the book to prevent this report from seeing the light of day because of the embarrassing reflection it has cast on her trumpeted PHO Strategy," Mrs Roy said.

"The review reads as badly as the wanaga revelations. Lack of financial information from some PHOs, variable quality of financial information from others, inconsistent reporting, inability to compare costs between PHOs, lack of defined standards or service levels - all criticisms in the review - read as a indictment on Annette King's rushed construction of PHOs."


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