After stalling a crucial report on
the unacceptable tragedy at Hobart’s Roy Fagan Centre and accepting
responsibility but not accountability, Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff needs to
tell Tasmanians today what he will do to fix the situation.
Shadow Minister for Health, Mental
Health and Wellbeing Dr Bastian Seidel said Mr Rockliff had failed patients and
staff by doing nothing to lift the Gutwein Government’s unacceptable level of
care despite having knowledge of chronic staff shortages for at least seven
“Jeremy Rockliff has been the
Minister responsible for care at Roy Fagan for the past two years, not just the
past two days,” Dr Seidel said.
“The report on this heartbreaking
situation involving a 78-year-old patient who was found infested with maggots
has been available to Mr Rockliff since March – before the state election – but
he chose to keep it hidden.
“He has accepted responsibility but
at no stage has he provided a timeline for when he intends to adopt this
report’s recommendations and at no time has he given any financial commitment
to fix the situation.
“This is supposed to be Tasmania’s top
mental health facility where
some of our most vulnerable are supposed to receive the best care but staff are
simply unable to do that because the Liberal Government will not provide them
with even adequate resources.
“There has been plenty of time for
this Minister to act. There has been plenty of time for him to bring staffing
levels up to scratch so families can be confident their relatives – who in most
cases are helpless – are receiving proper care.
“He has failed and Mr Rockliff
needs to very specifically tell Tasmanians where is his accountability?
“Labor went to the election with a comprehensive plan to establish a second campus at the former Hobart Repatriation Hospital site which would include a state-of-the-art mental health facility – something that is desperately required in Tasmania.
“Mr Rockliff needs to immediately provide details of what he plans to do.”
Dr Bastian Seidel MLC
Shadow Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing Minister