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ACT Health to stick with new chiefs after scandal

Ian Thompson will continue working as the hospital's new Chief Executive.

Ian Thompson will continue working as the hospital's new Chief Executive. Photo: Karleen Minney

Changes to the top ranks at ACT Health made in the ''volatile'' wake of last year's data doctoring scandal look set to be made permanent.

And Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has confirmed that the Canberra Hospital's chief executive during the crisis has resigned and left the country.

Former Justice and Community Safety (JACS) No. 2 Stephen Goggs has taken over the administrative side of the Health Directorate on an acting basis, while Ian Thompson will continue to be the hospital's chief executive.

Katy Gallagher has confirmed that the Canberra Hospital's Chief Executive during the crisis has resigned and left the country.

Katy Gallagher has confirmed that the Canberra Hospital's Chief Executive during the crisis has resigned and left the country. Photo: Jay Cronan

Dr Peggy Brown will continue to be the director general of the department, with both men holding the official roles of deputy director-general of the ACT Health Directorate, Mr Goggs on an acting basis until the recruitment process concludes in February.

But Lee Martin, who was the deputy director-general in charge of Canberra Hospital when the data tampering storm engulfed the institution, has resigned and returned to his native England.

The confession of a senior hospital executive in April 2012 that she had tampered with the record of up to 11700 emergency department patients to make the ED's performance look better sparked months of political headaches for the ACT government.

Ms Gallagher said on Thursday that the roles of the deputy directors-general were devised during the general shake-up of the ACT public service in May 2011.

''In the restructure of 18 months ago, Peggy Brown appointed two deputy chief executives, which I was very supportive of,'' the Chief Minister said. ''That's because there are two sides to the business - there's the hospital and all that comes with it, and then you need a deputy for the other side of things. Lee ran the hospital and Ian did the other side.''

But in the wake of the scandal, with Mr Lee on extended sick leave, Ms Gallagher said she drafted Mr Thompson into the hospital role for his ''steadying influence''.

''It was the lead-up to the election, very volatile, very charged and everybody was very stressed,'' she said.

''With all the issues in the ED, I asked for Ian to go to the hospital because he has worked in health for a long time and I wanted his steadying influence, and I think he's done exactly what I've asked of him.

''The hospital is a unique workplace; it's parochial, they look after each other, but they're always under the gun, both politically and in terms of the work demands that are placed on them.''

Mr Goggs, who won much respect in several years as second in command of the difficult JACS department, brought a different set of skills to the health system, according to Ms Gallagher.

4 comments

  • Nicely hidden story from The Canberra Times, last years data doctoring was a disgrace, and Gallagher said in Canberra Times piece she had not regrets.For gods sake Editors please keep this failed Government honest. Its our heath your heath, the communities health at stake here.

    Commenter
    Martin Says
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    January 25, 2013, 12:51PM
    • Umm did the CM say Mr Lee resigned and left the country or is he on extended sick leave??

      Why wasnt he sent to Comcare as so many other ethical ACT Public Servants are, particularly when they report public interest disclosures, as obliged under the Public Sector Management Act and then suffer unlawful reprisals to their detriment?

      Its getting common place to hear of ACT public officials having detriment caused to them when they are individually scapegoated for our Minister/ employers public interest portfolio scandals and how they are politically managed.

      But wait the Ministers and others passed the new public interest/corruption Disclosure Act, which allows ACT Government employees to go to the media if the whole of Government has not adequately addressed the public interest complaints, concerns within a limited time frame.

      Can you imagine Martin Says, going to the media when this is how that data doctoring scandal is reported on? This type of article supports our Ministers to continue to have no regrets or embarrassments when these public interest scandals break out.

      I agree Martin says, it is the publics health at stake here.

      Commenter
      Public %
      Date and time
      January 25, 2013, 6:16PM
      • Pathetic! that yet again the disgraceful behaviour of Lee Martin has been swept under the carpet and he has been allowed to slink away without being held accountable for the intimidating, bullying behaviours displayed in his workplace, behaviours that led to the intimidation of senior staff and resulted in the falsification of ED data. The CT failed to adequately investigate this senior health officer at the time the data scandal broke, happy instead to take an easy out and make a patsy of one of his staff, and it would seem CT journalists are still reluctant to fully reveal the extent of this bureaucrat's reprehensible behaviour.

        Commenter
        Janie1
        Date and time
        January 25, 2013, 7:18PM
        • As long as senior public servants rise and fall on sometimes meaningless statistics, figures will be altered and dodgy spin will be used to protect the politicians who appointed them. Performance objectives are all well and good, but how come the senior executive at the hospital was able to fiddle the figures anyway? And why did she think it was necessary? Afraid that if she didn't, Katy Gallagher wouldn't look good and get re elected? They were indeed "under the gun"!

          Commenter
          Badger
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          January 26, 2013, 10:47AM
          Comments are now closed
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