Health razor gang caught napping
The $10 million razor gang sent in to sort out the financial crisis within the Department of Health has been asleep at the wheel. After six months in the job, the taskforce is still not fully staffed and has only met twice since its inception in the Mid-Year Budget Review.
“When Health Minister Hill announced his new Office for Business Review in December, he anticipated $100 million worth of savings every year,” Shadow Minister for Health Martin Hamilton-Smith said.
“Six months in, and the group is still not fully functional, still hasn’t recommended any cuts, and we’re yet to see any action whatsoever.
“The Auditor-General has long-standing criticisms of the way Minister Hill has been managing Health’s finances, leading to unnecessary budget blowouts of $213 million over the last two years.
“Now in his seventh year in the job, Minister John Hill has continually ignored the problems of mismanagement and the growth of a top-heavy bureaucratic workforce in his headquarters.
“The creation of another layer of ineffective and expensive bureaucracy smacks of ‘Yes Minister’ madness.
“Razor gang chief Mr Steve Archer’s $430,000 salary alone is more than the $370,000 cut in funding to Keith Hospital, which is now on the ropes.
“Minister Hill needs to show a great deal more urgency and determination to rein in the chaos within his own department, which is whittling away millions of dollars that could be spent on frontline Health services,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.