I had corresponded with the shadow minister
for health in the past and he was on my email list. I wrote to him
about the probity issue.
16 March 1999
The Hon Senator xxxxxx
Shadow Minister for Family Services and the Aged
SG 34 Parliament House
Dear Senator xxxx,
Thank you for your letter dated 2 March 1999 asking me to keep you informed regarding health care material. I believe that you do receive email material from me and there is a vast quantity of that. I recently supplied the text of a speech given on integrated care. I am sure that you will obtain a copy of the report on the privatisation of hospitals in the Northern Territory by Mooney and Jan from Sydney university.
I enclose for your information an article from today's edition of the Medical Journal of Australia by P Komesaroff which makes many of the points I have tried to make quite elegantly. They apply equally to health and aged care.
I recently received a letter on behalf of the Minister for aged care in response to matters taken up with her on my behalf by The Hon xxxxxx, Minister for Health in Queensland. I was very disturbed by the absence of any reference by the minister's spokesman to probity issues in the evaluation of aged care providers. This suggests that major changes were introduced into the 1996 Aged Care legislation to remove the protection which the regulations previously provided. While I can appreciate that this provision may be a difficult one legally, it is the single most important clause protecting citizens from corporate criminals. Its importance is revealed by the content of Komesaroff's paper.
As this paper indicates when ethical and probity requirements are ignored or seen as irrelevant in a corporate context then the wrong people end in the top jobs making decisions. They readily succumb to the pressures of competition. The sort of people on Australia's Olympic Committee and the events surrounding the Olympic scandal are a graphic illustration.