An independent report into the Tasmanian Health Service (THS) has highlighted dysfunction within the organisation’s executive, which it says is causing it to operate ineffectively.
Consulting firm Deloitte interviewed 31 senior staff members and surveyed a further 300 in its investigation into the THS.
The full report is deemed cabinet-in-confidence, but the Government released a summary late on Saturday afternoon.
“The THS Executive is not currently seen to be operating effectively,” the report said.
“There is a need to clarify roles and responsibilities across the THS, so that all members of the organisation understand structures at the local and state-wide level, and to ensure there is clear accountability for decision-making at each level.”
The report found communication needed to be improved between senior clinicians, and more consultation on reforms was required.
It also found accountability was jeopardised by a lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities.
“The perceived lack of unity of the THS Executive appears to be impacting the broader organisation, with the potential to undermine the effectiveness of the leadership group,” the report said.
Health Minister Michael Ferguson said the Government was considering the feedback provided through the survey which it “initiated in order to continue our efforts to improve Tasmania’s public health system”.
“There is a clear need to clarify roles and responsibilities in the THS, so that all members of the organisation understand and work effectively within management structures at the local and statewide levels,” he said.
Minister ‘clearly mislead’ Parliament: Labor
Last month, Mr Ferguson denied the existence of the report in Parliament after being asked about it by Opposition Leader Rebecca White.
The minister said the work being done was a survey and interviews which would later be collated into a report.
Ms White said Mr Ferguson “clearly misled” Parliament.
“This frankly bizarre behaviour from the Health Minister will alarm all Tasmanians,” Ms White said.
“He clearly mislead the Parliament on the 29th of November when asked a direct question about the Deloitte report when he responded ‘there is no report’.
“It is alarming that Michael Ferguson was so determined to keep hidden Deloitte’s summary of the THS, which shows it is not currently operating effectively, that he would mislead the Parliament.”
Staff call to end ‘toxic’ culture
The Royal Hobart Hospital Staff Association says THS chief executive David Alcorn has “failed to build just about everything a CEO should”.
The Association’s president Frank Nicklason said the governance must be restructured.
“Toxic governance and failed governance must not be tolerated,” he said.
“It’s high time to undertake the reform of THS Executive and the Governing Council that everyone has been calling for over the past year.
“Is anyone going to take responsibility for this mess? It’s our patients and our hospitals that the THS CEO and his governing council have let down.”
Earlier this week doctors gave evidence to the Parliamentary inquiry into Tasmania’s acute health services, labelling the THS executive as “toxic and dysfunctional”.