Sunday, June 23, 2024

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Health to head north


Sir – Plans to scrap the two existing health services are under way, creating a centralised one, with just one budget and one executive team.

What has been made clear to me is that the department is about to undergo a major restructure; some jobs may be lost; all regional health services are about to lose their autonomy; the consultation process will only be internal at this stage; and Darwin will have absolute control over all parts of NT Health.

My concern is that the regions will be neglected.

I was informed the consultation for the restructure will begin this week and will only be internal, that is, only for NT Health staff. It is unclear exactly which NT Health staff will be involved in “planning workshops” conducted over several weeks.

I was advised that the drafting instructions have already been provided by Government to Parliamentary Council.

This means that the Government has already determined a model and a legislative framework. Therefore, it seems the consultation process will be somewhat meaningless and tokenistic.

The new model will be introduced to Parliament in March, then debated and passed through Parliament in the May 2021 sittings.

I do not consider now – during COVID – to be the best time to be wasting Health resources implementing a restructure that is not required.

Robyn Lambley (pictured), Independent MLA for Araluen

PHOTO: Alice Springs hospital.



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