NSW Health scandal: Special Commission of Inquiry needed or Minister should go  

MEDIA RELEASE: 2 August  2016

The Greens NSW health spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham today called on the NSW Government to support a Special Commission of Inquiry into off-protocol treatment of cancer patients in NSW after a damning final report into the issue released today revealed that the scandal has grown and St Vincent’s Hospital lied to the public.

“The Greens are calling on the NSW Premier to immediately establish a Special Commission of Inquiry to ensure this widening scandal is thoroughly investigated, with appropriate independence, protection of witnesses and powers to restore confidence in the NSW Health system,” Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said.

“At every juncture in this investigation so far the extent of underdosing has grown and the number of patients affected has increased, so that we now have at least two doctors and three local health districts implicated.

“Minister Skinner has now also made it explicitly clear that St Vincent’s lied to the public and lied to the Ministry and that there are significant failures of middle and senior management which have led to this crisis.

“The Minister seemed remarkably unconcerned about this deceit and its unacceptable that those who have lied may still be in their roles at St Vincent’s.

“The Greens are also concerned that only now, almost 6 months after this scandal was exposed by the media, will the Minister be seeking written assurances from all Local Health Districts across NSW that underdosing has not been occurring elsewhere.

“This should have been one of the Minister’s first moves when this issue was brought to her attention in February this year.

“It is also utterly unacceptable that those patients and their families in Bathurst and Orange and across the Central West will have to wait another month at least to find out whether they have been impacted by this scandal.

“To avoid further cover-ups either Minister Skinner supports the establishment of Special Commission of Inquiry into this growing scandal or she should resign and Mike Baird should put a Minister in place that will.  That is what the community demands,” said Mr Buckingham.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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