Honorable Lawrence Springborg, Minister for Health, Queensland, Australia: Open inquiry re the culture of harassment & cover-up in Queensland Health
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According to a recent publication, Queensland Health now provides services to approximately four million Australians.
However, a great many staff are being subjected to horrendous working conditions, where they are obliged to report wrong-doing in the workplace, but harassed if they do, and potentially sacked if they don't. This negatively affects the quality of service delivery available to those four million people.
The organisation is so fearful of admitting liability in regard to the systemic workplace harassment within Queensland Health, related to the abuse of policy, processes and legitimate authority, that it is willing to allow good people to have their careers and reputations destroyed, whilst allowing bullies and harassers to continue their campaigns of fear, unchecked and sometimes even rewarded with promotion.
In my own experience (a clinician of 25 years), patient care and outcomes are the lowest consideration in some areas of the organisation, and maintenance of the powerbase and status quo are all-important.
Every year, Queensland Health diverts millions of dollars away from patient care in order to do battle with its staff. In every respect, patient care suffers as a result of the way Queensland Health operates. If staff are afraid to speak out, unethical, dangerous and potentially criminal behaviours persist and thrive. If righteous dissent is quashed, growth and learning stagnate. If workplace harassment is tolerated and rewarded, staff are forced into workplace mediocrity, for fear of outshining their harassers and attracting their ire.
Until a light is shone into the dark recesses of Queensland Health, and until the culture of cover-up and protection of workplace harassers stops, the Queensland public can expect little more than mediocrity in service provision, and massive wastage of health dollars on an ongoing basis, as Queensland Health fights a tobacco company-like battle against those who have been harmed by its misfeasance.
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