You won’t believe what medical staff were asked to do inside this hospital during a health minister’s visit

You won’t believe what medical staff were asked to do inside this hospital during a health minister’s visit
Descriptive text here
-

By Makayla Muscat For Daily Mail Australia

04:25 01 May 2024, updated 05:23 01 May 2024

Ten staff members posed as fake patients at a regional Victorian hospital to pretend it was busy during a visit from the health minister.

An investigation by the Health Department confirmed Colac Area Health had staff registered as patients in the Urgent Care Clinic (UCC) when Victoria’s Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas visited on August 9, 2023.

An investigation into the saga confirmed that some medical staff were sitting in the waiting room while others were in beds, with one even occupying a trolley in the back corridor.

Another staff member arrived by ambulance and was triaged despite not requiring medical treatment.

The investigation found that staff members went along with what was happening under the belief it was what Colac Area Health ‘expected of them’ and as a result, they won’t be disciplined.

Ten staff members posed as fake patients at a regional hospital to pretend it was busy during a visit from the health minister

It was found that there was a possibility patient care could have been impacted but resources were not found to have been diverted away from genuine demand at the time.

‘The Investigator was satisfied on the basis of the available information that each of those actions were in order to make it appear to the Minister taken that the UCC was busier than it actually was on the day of the visit,’ the Department of Health said in a report on the matter.

‘Each of those individuals were registered as patients in the UCC’s intake system prior to the Minister arriving and their registrations were canceled and the patients left the UCC after the Minister departed, without any treatment being administered.

-

‘The staff working in the UCC that day were generally aware, or soon became aware, that the patients presenting to the UCC did not require medical treatment, and they generally directed their focus on treating those patients who did require medical care.’

Minister Mary-Ane Thomas (second from left) with staff at the Colac Area Health clinic during her visit

Wise Workplace Solutions and the department agreed that putting the health of potential patients at risk was ‘incredibly disappointing and entirely inappropriate’.

Colac Area Health, which has accepted the recommendations, has been asked to convey the seriousness of what occurred to their staff and encourage them to speak up about unethical decisions in the workplace.

Professor Steve Moylan, Colac Area Health Interim CEO, told Daily Mail Australia that they are ‘sorry for what occurred’ in the Urgent Care Centre.

‘It is highly regrettable and we’ve accepted all recommendations from the independent investigation,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Whilst the investigation found there was no impact to patient care, we know the incident posed a potential risk and that’s something we will ensure doesn’t happen again.

‘Colac Area Health is committed to learning from this incident and to keep building a better health service for our community, including by acting on the recommendations to strengthen our internal culture and also consider any further action.’

The incident was first raised by a whistleblower who brought the allegations to the Victorian Public Sector Commission.

Ambulance Victoria’s internal investigation into the involvement of the ambulance is underway.

-

-

PREV Down 10% in April, is the momentum Zip share price rally over or just paused?
NEXT Local Scouts celebrate Earth Day with cleanups