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Working Class Whistler  

Working Class Whistler

  key informatioin contained in M

  Diary of a whistle-blower

 

 

The Crime and Misconduct Commission      protected Queensland Health from
    addressing information contained
         in the concealed documents 
           retrieved from Ms Mason.

 
On 19 January 2004, in a ten page letter I sought a review from the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) into the integrity of the investigations conducted by Queensland Health, the ADCQ and the Ombudsman into the content of correspondence between my doctor, Ms Mason and I during the discrimination, especially Ms Mason's information in her letter to me dated 25 May 1998, which was belied by her statement to the ADCQ Commissioner.

At that time I was still unaware Queensland Health had covertly provided Ms Mason with my personnel file which, once located and retrieved through FOI was devoid of the correspondence, later found to be in her possession, which confirmed the exact time-line of her actions during the discrimination, which belied her statements to the ADCQ Commissioner.

I was also unaware of the Ombudsman's 'Extract of Complaint' containing 26 items of concern regarding Ms Mason's actions during the nine months of discrimination, which had been completely disregarded by Queensland Health during the Ombudsman's investigation into a cover-up.


Queensland Health and CMC documents released through FOI in in 2007 confirmed the CMC edited my complaint, deleting 6 pages before sending it to Queensland Health:

 

The CMC's omission of page 8 protected Queensland Health from addressing the correspondence, retained by Ms Mason throughout the discrimination investigation, containing the pertinent information which had been excluded by Ms Mason and Dr Menzies in their statements to the ADCQ:

 

The CMC had found the FOI retrieval of my missing file and correspondence from Ms Mason to be irrelevant to the Queensland Health investigation into a cover-up:

On 16 February, before receiving a response to my complaint from the CMC, I received a phone call from the Queensland Health Senior Internal Auditor, Ms Rebecca McMahon, who advised Queensland Health would be investigating and requested copies of correspondence related to my claim.

I phoned to ask the CMC if they would investigate independently of Queensland Health, due to the long-term conflict of interest I had experienced.

It was extremely disheartening to be told Queensland Health would conduct the investigation. 

As requested I sent documents, which included the FOI retrieval of my missing personnel file and correspondence from Ms Mason, to the Queensland Health Audit:

 

The CMC assessment of my complaint, later released through FOI, completely eliminated the crucial information contained in Ms Mason's letter dated 25 May 1998.

The CMC assessed my footwear to be the clogs worn by other nurses, about which Ms Mason claimed to the ADCQ, to have only made general inquiries with a WPHS representative.

The assessment disregarded my medically required footwear about which Ms Mason claimed to me, in her letter dated 25 May 1998, to have made specific inquiries regarding my footwear requirements, due to my disability, with the Department of WPHS:

 

The CMC responded, advising how my complaint would be investigated:

Corresponding with the CMC assessment, the Queensland Health Assessment excluded the retrieval of my missing file and documents from Ms Mason, following the discrimination investigation, and omitted Ms Mason's information in her letters to me, during the discrimination, including her key letter dated 25 May 1998:

 

In response Queensland Health again suppressed the content of Ms Mason's letter dated 25 May 1998  and ignored Ms Mason's false statement to the ADCQ, denying her receipt and knowledge of my doctor's letter.

Had Audit investigated the FOI documents sent to Ms R McMahon they would have found, as I did later, that Ms Mason had, against Queensland Health policy, covertly obtained possession of my personnel file for nine months:

 

Unaware the CMC had edited my complaint I responded on 27 February to the CMC Executive Legal Officer,  Mr R Walker:


"…my complaint of discrimination against QH was inappropriately handled…The information contained in a copy of my doctor's letter dated 28 September 1998 was also excluded by the Commissioner...The erroneous content of Ms Mason’s letter to me dated 25 May, which was excluded from investigation, was the basis for my only reason for resigning...the content of which was withheld by Ms Mason and Dr Menzies in their responses to the ADCQ, falsely indicating to the Commissioner that this information did not exist.

My claims that letters, which were removed from my personnel file by Ms Mason during the ADCQ investigation and retrieved from Ms Mason by Mr B Evans (FOI), contained information which was withheld from Ms Mason’s and Dr Menzies’ responses to the ADCQ, was not addressed by Mr Schafer...there is a conflict of interest for QH to investigate itself and would therefore ask you, as I had asked the Qld Ombudsman, to conduct an independent enquiry into this matter.”

 

That same day, without mentioning the FOI documents received, Ms McMahon from Audit closed the file with the CMC.

 

Again, without mentioning the FOI documents regarding the retrieval of my missing personnel file from Ms Mason, Audit then closed the file with the Queensland Health Director-General:

 
 

FOI later released a CMC document titled "Note to File" which assessed my letter responding to the findings of the Audit investigation. No mention was made of the FOI searches for my missing personnel file. 

The note pertinently acknowledged my concern regarding the erroneous content in Ms Mason's key letter to me during the discrimination, dated 25 May 1998:

 

Mr R Walker ignored the note regarding the "incorrect information" in Ms Mason's letter dated 25 May 1998:

 

When I told the Queensland Governor of the cover-up I was fully aware the CMC had protected Queensland Health from having to address the content of Ms Mason's letter dated 25 May 1998, but was unaware of the Ombudsman's concerns, which had been ignored by Queensland Health, and of the deliberate suppression of the FOI searches, by the CMC, for the documents Ms Mason had initially withheld from the ADCQ investigation and, subsequently, from her response to the ADCQ.

 
I received a response from the Governor-General:

On 27 April 2004 I submitted a further complaint to the CMC, again including the FOI searches for the missing file and documents retrieved from Ms Mason, and the confirmation by Mr CG, of WPHS, and by Ms Mason and Dr Menzies in their own submissions to the ADCQ, that Ms Mason did not, as stated in her letter to me dated 25 May 1998, make formal  inquiries regarding my specific footwear requirements due to my disabilities with WPHS until June (22 June 1998).

Mr Robert Walker again dismissed:

 

I asked the Director of Complaints Services of the CMC to review the CMC investigation into information contained in Ms Mason's letter to me, dated 25 May 1998, and those documents retrieved from Ms Mason following completion of the ADCQ investigation; to clarify whether Ms Mason's statement to the ADCQ concurred or conflicted with that information.

 

 Mr R Walker responded:

 The CMC advised No Further Action.

 My request for a review was denied:

 

I sought a review of the perceived bias of the CMC from the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee:

 

 The Committee responded:

 

 Three months later the Committee reached a decision:

At that point in time horrifying media stories were released about a Queensland Health investigation into the medical negligence of Doctor Jayant Patel, Director of Surgery at the Bundaberg Hospital, who was alleged to have caused the deaths of 87 patients within two years at the Hospital. There were stories of permanently maimed survivors and of a long-term Queensland Health cover-up.

 

It had been a terrifying time for the nurses who tried desperately to shield their patients from the doctor, including the nurse who persistently alerted Queensland Health of the very real fears held for the safety of the doctor Patel's unsuspecting patients, because Queensland Health simply refused to listen.

When the National party member Rob Messenger first raised the negligent deaths and mutilations in Parliament in March 2005, the initial response from Mr Beattie was that replacing Dr Patel would be difficult.

Once it became public knowledge that Queensland Health had funded a one-way ticket for Dr Patel to leave the country on 1st April, before the completion of the internal Queensland Health investigation, Mr Beattie then agreed to Commission a public inquiry to begin in May.

Mr Tony Morris QC was instated as the investigating Commissioner.

In July 2005, under pressure following bad media exposure, the Health Minister, Mr G Nuttall resigned. Mr Beattie instated Mr Stephen Robertson as the new Minister for Health, promising to reform the Queensland Health culture of secrecy which had come to light.

Although unaware of the 26 items of concern raised with Queensland Health by the Qld Ombudsman, I was aware the exclusion of an independent investigation by the ADCQ, the Ombudsman and the CMC, provided Queensland Health with the means to deeply bury the crucial content of Ms Mason’s letter to me, dated 25 May 1998, and to keep it secret for six years. 

 

The Queensland Premier and the Public Service Commissioner.

 

Unaware Queensland Health had covertly provided Ms Mason with my personnel file I thought Mr Beattie, who seemed concerned with the secrecy code detected within Queensland Health, should know about the unrestrained freedom of the Queensland Health administration, to remove filed documents from an investigation. 


On 15 August 2005 I wrote a chain letter to the Premier, Mr P Beattie, the Deputy Premier, Ms A Bligh, and the Attorney-General, Ms L Lavarch:


“...for six years there has been, what can only possibly be collusion, not only between Queensland Health Administration, but also between other Government Agencies to concurrently ignore a paper trail of evidence; with the unified intention of guaranteeing a significant cover-up of that evidence which, to date, has never been addressed…The CMC investigation excluded…the tampering of evidence by the DON, the withholding of information by the Queensland Health Officers at the Conciliation Conference…the impunity which has so freely been given to Queensland Health for many years should concern you, especially in light of the current problems which have now surfaced.…It has deliberately been made very difficult for me to have the truth addressed…to find out who it actually was, who authorised the cover-up of evidence by Queensland Health, the ADCQ, the QLD Ombudsman and the CMC, and, why that authority was unchallenged.”

Devastatingly the Bundaberg inquiry collapsed and Mr Beattie said enough money had been spent, and the CMC should resume the inquiry.

This revelation was a bombshell to most Queenslanders; there was a public out-roar.


On a personal level alarm bell were ringing!


The CMC had demonstrated how relaxed it was about the ability of Queensland Health to obtain files and remove documents from an investigation, and I was deeply worried that patient files might be interfered with. 


I was also afraid the CMC would refer the inquiry to Queensland Health, to self-investigate, and wrote a further chain letter to the Premier, Deputy Premier and Attorney-General:

 

Fortunately the public outrage was such that Mr Beattie decided the Bundaberg Hospital inquiry would continue with a new Commissioner.

On 8 September Mr G Davies QC was commissioned to head the new 'Bundaberg' inquiry.

I had not received a response from the Premier, Deputy Premier or Attorney-General to my chain letters and remained deeply concerned about the perceived bias during the investigations conducted by the ADCQ, the Ombudsman and the CMC.

I told the CMC Commissioner of my concerns:

The Commissioner responded:

 

It seemed completely impossible to get an independent review when responding to the Commissioner:

 

On the same day I responded to the Commissioner, the Committee responded to me:

The Deputy Premier responded to my chain letters:

The Premier's undated response was stamp-dated 4 October 2005:

 

I  deeply hoped the Public Service Commissioner would investigate.

The Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Commissioner's hands were completely tied by the Committee:

 

                                        The Public Service Commissioner

 

 The Public Service Commissioner refused to investigate.

 I wrote to the Premier who was the overseer of the Public Service Commissioner:

The Public Service Commissioner responded:

 The Premier also responded:

The Attorney-General finally responded:

 

Had the CMC investigated the full extent of the cover-up it surely would have discovered then, as I did later through FOI, that it was the covert movement of my personnel file which led to information being withheld from the ADCQ and, also, the Ombudsman’s ‘Extract of complaint’ had contained 26 items of concern, directly related to the suppressed information which, due to the CMC’s decision to edit my complaint, remained buried.

Each "fiercely independent" body had protected Queensland Health from accounting for Ms Mason's deception in her letter dated 25 May 1998, as confirmed to me by Mr CG of WPHS, and to the ADCQ by both Ms Mason and Dr Menzies, by referring the repeated suppression of that deception back to the Queensland Health administration; to perpetually self-investigate.

Had the Premier insisted that the Public Service Commissioner investigate, and the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee allowed the Crime and Misconduct Commissioner to investigate, the Ombudsman’s Extract of complaint and the CMC’s deletion of the FOI evidence, confirming the retrieval of missing evidence from Ms Mason, would have been revealed. 


It could also be presumed that had the investigations been conducted, they would have discovered Queensland Health had, against Departmental policy, covertly provided Ms Mason with my personnel file throughout the discrimination investigation, without having signed for it, and would have found upon completion of the discrimination investigation, that FOI retrieved the file from Ms Mason's possession and, subsequent to further searches for pertinent documents Ms Mason had suppressed from the investigation, retrieved the documents from Ms Mason's personal possession.