Health Minister treating Sunshine Coast nurses with contempt

In what is the latest sorry chapter of Labor’s health payroll disaster, Queensland’s Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Cameron Dick MP, has again demonstrated his arrogance and contempt for current and former employees by refusing to reveal how many Sunshine Coast residents he is chasing for alleged overpayments.

Following an adjournment speech in Parliament where Mr Bleijie described the matter as serious and slammed the Minister for Health for sending in debt collectors after six years of silence, the Member for Kawana submitted an official Question on Notice requesting specific information about how many current and former employees residing on the Sunshine Coast were affected.

“I simply requested the number of people that where being chased for alleged overpayments, the total dollar amount of the alleged overpayments, and the dates on which alleged overpayments were made,” Mr Bleijie said.

The Minister for Health provided a response which included that “it would be neither practicable nor reasonable to divert resources within the Department of Health to identify and list all of the information requested.”

Mr Bleijie described the Minister’s response as arrogant and immediately wrote to the Speaker of the Parliament seeking his ruling on the appropriateness of the response.

“This is a very serious matter affecting potentially thousands of families around Queensland,” he said.

“It was the Labor government who delivered Queenslanders the worst failure of public administration in this nation, and now the Minister refuses to disclose any information about the number of people he has set debt collectors upon.”

Mr Bleijie said he is currently assisting a number of current and former nurses living in the Kawana electorate who have been threatened and bullied into re-paying alleged overpayments that can’t be proven by Queensland Health.

“I have written on a number of occasions to the Health Minister requesting his immediate and direct intervention, but it continues to fall on deaf ears,” Mr Bleijie said.

“Imagine working for Queensland Health six years ago and being the innocent party in Labor’s payroll disaster. Then some six years later, when you no longer work for Queensland Health, you get a call out of the blue saying you owe money and if you can’t prove you don’t the Labor government will set their debt collectors upon you.

“This is seriously affecting Sunshine Coast families and it’s time the Minister stepped out of his ivory tower, listened to Queenslanders and fixed his own mess.”

[MEDIA RELEASE ENDS] 12th December 2016