Shadow Minister for Health, Bill Yan, says it’s little wonder the Gunner Labor Government is struggling to fill crucial health positions when it has no idea how many medical staff have quit NT Health to work at the Howard Springs quarantine facility.
“Opposition questions, submitted through a formal Parliamentary process quizzed the Health Minister, Natasha Fyles, over how many medical staff at Howard Springs had worked at a Northern Territory hospital or medical facility prior to working at the Centre for National Resilience. The response from Minister Fyles was ‘The NT Government does not ask this question upon commencement of employment and therefore does not keep this information’.
“Does the Minister really expect Territorians to believe she doesn’t have this information, when it would have clearly been outlined on their resumes? Why doesn’t Minister Fyles have these basic details available? She’s either lying or totally incompetent.
“Last month the Minister admitted it’s ‘too hard’ to figure out how many doctors and nurses are needed to recruit to plug the critical staff shortages across the NT – because calculating the numbers is ‘too administratively onerous’.
“The incompetent Gunner Labor Government booted AUSMAT from Howard Springs in May last year and was forced to recruit hundreds of additional staff. Minister Fyles promised Territorians that our health system wouldn’t be impacted – but the Australia Nursing and Midwifery Federation NT’s Cath Hatcher has publicly condemned the impact on the emergency department at RDH, ICU, mental health, dialysis and surgical units which have all been impacted by staff moving across to Howard Springs.
“The Health Minister is clearly overwhelmed managing the NT’s health system, which has been crippled under Labor with four Code Yellow critical bed and staff shortages at Royal Darwin Hospital, the closure of remote clinics, the bungled rollout of the remote vaccination program, widespread cancellation of elective surgeries and the referral of $4.3 million health consultancy contract that breached procurement rules and has been referred to the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption – as well as Howard Springs.
“That’s why she finds it ‘too hard’ to work out basic information like how many health worker vacancies there are – and how many have ditched NT Health to work at the quarantine centre. It’s not good enough and Territorians deserve better,” said Mr Yan.