Queensland’s health minister says investigations into the actions of two sidelined health workers must be allowed to run their course.
Queensland’s health minister says he can’t detail why two senior bureaucrats have been stood aside amid a possible corruption probe.
The chief executive of Brisbane’s Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Malcolm Stamp, was suspended on Monday along with the health district’s executive director of corporate services and performance, Scott McMullen.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says the matter has been referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission, and that means he’s limited in what he can say.
He said he only had scant details, but he understood the allegations related to employment and procurement issues.
“It does not relate in any way to clinical safety issues,” he told ABC radio on Tuesday.
“I don’t have much more information than that and even if I did I wouldn’t be at liberty to say so.
“There are proper investigative processes and it is up to the appropriate authorities to give those details.”
He would not confirm if the allegations related to some sort of benefit being given to a daughter of one of the men.
Mr Springborg has praised the fast response of the board that manages the Metro North Hospital and Health Service and directly employed the two men.
He said the board called in external investigators after receiving information about the men.
The board suspended the men on Monday, after receiving the results of that investigation on Friday.
“The chairman of the board convened an extraordinary board meeting over the weekend. They acted within 48 hours,” Mr Springborg said.
He said the two men would remain suspended on pay while investigations continued, and it was up to the corruption watchdog to release any further details.
Opposition health spokeswoman Jo-Ann Miller has accusing the minister and Premier Campbell Newman of hiding.
“If there is any truth to Campbell Newman’s claims that he leads an open and transparent government, the public must know what circumstances have led to this dramatic announcement,” she said.
“This is an extraordinary turn of events dealing with Queensland’s biggest and busiest hospitals that also hold the biggest budget. Taxpayers, patients and staff deserve to know what is happening.”
The Metro North health district covers public hospital and health services for the north side of Brisbane, including five hospitals. One of them is the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk told parliament the allegations needed to be made public.
“The people of Queensland want to know: what are the allegations of corruption?” she said.
“Do they involve the awarding of tender contracts to someone?
“Do they involve jobs for the boys?”