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Liberals demand new RAH safety report

Politics

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt weighed into the South Australian election campaign this morning, demanding Jay Weatherill release a safety accreditation report for the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.

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SA Liberal treasury spokesperson Rob Lucas released his own letter shortly thereafter, suggesting the state public service would be party to a cover-up to protect Labor electoral fortunes if it did not release the report immediately.

In his letter, Hunt writes: “The ‘Royal Adelaide Hospital national safety and quality health services standards accreditation not met report’ is an essential report which sets out whether the Royal Adelaide Hospital has met the minimum requirements for hospital accreditation for safety and quality,”

“Not releasing an essential safety and quality report is unacceptable.

“It would be deeply concerning if adverse safety findings in the report were being withheld.”

Lucas’s letter, addressed to Department of Premier and Cabinet boss Don Russell, says: “If this report is being concealed from the public prior to the state election this Saturday, we would consider this an attempt by senior members of the government and/or the public service to protect the political fortunes of the Labor Party at the expense of the public’s right to know, and the best interests of community safety for all South Australians.”

“I expect immediate action on this point from the South Australian public service.”

But Weatherill told reporters this afternoon that “it’s not a final report – in 90 days time, when we receive the response is in, we’ll see what’s in the final report”.

“48 hours before an election we have a federal minister weighing into what is a routine administrative process.

“People are sick of these political games.”

An internal SA Health newsletter, sent by Central Adelaide Local Health Network CEO Jenny Richter today says the final report will be available next month.

“Since receipt of the (interim) report we have met with senior clinical and executive staff to review the findings and to develop an implementation plan addressing the areas identified as requiring improvement which relate to culture, custom and practice,” the newsletter reads.

“The recommendations will assist in guiding further development of our quality improvement program.

“A copy of the final accreditation report will be published on the intranet when it becomes available in April.”

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