Barnett blind to Fiona failings
West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says critics of Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) should stop complaining about what is “probably the best hospital in the southern hemisphere”.
A group of senior clinicians at the $2 billion facility have sent a highly critical, anonymous letter to a Perth newspaper about the operation of the new hospital.
In it, Health Minister Kim Hames and senior bureaucrats are accused of wasteful and generally poor decision-making, and said they were now trying to fix their mistakes through an “ill-advised cost-cutting plan”.
The criticism follows a long run of operational and structural problems at FSH, previously dismissed by the Government as “teething problems”.
Australian Medical Association (WA) president Doctor Michael Gannon says; “It's a cry for help”.
The letter said bungles at the hospital – those the health minister calls “teething problems” – are just “the tip of the iceberg of a series of poor and wasteful decisions and a misguided political agenda”.
The doctors also lamented a lack of communication, which they say forced “many of the best doctors and nurses in the state leaving”.
They say speaking out about management problems only brings threats of dismissal.
“The letter is an indicator as to how demoralised staff are feeling and how let down they are after the promise of how good FSH was going to be,” Dr Gannon said.
“People were originally excited to sign onto a hospital that was going to be one of the world's best.”
But Mr Barnett says he does not want to hear the hospital attacked any more, taking aim at the doctors responsible behind the letter.
“They don't even put their name to it, so I don't give them much credibility,” he said.
“I think their comments are quite outrageous, suggesting bullying and the like. That is absolutely untrue.
“This hospital is fantastic, it is terrific ... and I am getting tired of a small group of people carrying on and criticising what is arguably the best hospital and probably the best hospital in the southern hemisphere.
“So Western Australia, get over it, recognise we have got a great hospital, support it and support the great men and women who work in it. I am sick of the grizzlers.”