Political knives drawn in parliament as hunt for scalps in health intensifies

Ill-feeling has swept the Queensland Parliament as calls ring out from both sides of the chamber for Health Minister Yvette D’Ath and her Opposition Shadow Ros Bates to lose their positions.

Oct 27, 2022, updated Oct 27, 2022
Health Minister Yvette D'Ath. (Photo: AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath. (Photo: AAP Image/Jono Searle)

The LNP Opposition is confident it has the ministerial career of Yvette D’Ath on the chopping block, using a damning report out of Brisbane’s PA Hospital to further skewer the embattled minister.

According to a leaked email seen by InQueensland, the state’s biggest hospital has been forced to scale back surgeries to save its anaesthetic training accreditation.

The email to senior staff indicates 1300 people are stuck on surgery waiting lists longer than “clinically recommended”.

The PA has attracted concerns from the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists due to inadequate supervision, excessive roster changes, insufficient clinical support time and staffing numbers outside agreed guidelines.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said D’Ath’s performance in Question Time on Thursday suggested she was not aware of the developments at the PA Hospital.

“The Minister didn’t know that senior doctors at the hospital were apologising to colleagues and patients as a result of this failure,” Crisafulli said.

“This is yet another major setback for the public health system in the middle of the Queensland health crisis.”

The latest revelations come after failures with DNA testing at Queensland’s biggest crime lab and a string of adverse medical outcomes at Mackay Hospital.

Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates during Question Time, suggested some of the bad outcomes were the result of poor recruitment, describing some of the clinicians allegedly at fault as “duds”.

Regional Development Minister Glenn Butcher seized on the comments, labelling them as a slur against all of Queensland’s medical workforce.

“Queensland’s doctors and nurses employed by our hospital and health services do tremendous work,” Butcher said in a statement released to media.

“For the LNP to label our frontline workers as duds is insulting to the staff – the doctors and nurses – who work day-in, day-out in our hospitals.”

An LNP spokesman said Bates’ comments were “deliberately misconstrued” by the government and that “no-one was buying their interpretation”.

Butcher called Bates’ comments “insulting and insensitive remarks” and demanded she apologise.

“If she doesn’t apologise, the Leader of the Opposition should sack her from his front bench,” he said.

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“Anything else is endorsing her comments about Queensland’s hardworking health staff.”

Despite the call for her own scalp, Bates is adamant that D’Ath remains over her head, using the latest case at PA Hospital to cast doubts on her competency.

“This is another sad and sorry chapter of the Queensland health crisis,” she said.

“Yvette D’Ath is losing the support of her colleagues and Queenslanders no longer trust her to fix the Queensland health crisis.

“She must go.”






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