Calvary / “inappropriate financial management has occurred and is a major concern”

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THE ACT Auditor?General, Dr Maxine Cooper, today presented the Calvary Public Hospital financial and performance reporting and management report to the Speaker for tabling in the ACT Legislative Assembly. The Calvary Public Hospital is managed by Calvary Health Care ACT Ltd, a subsidiary company of the Little Company of Mary Health Care Ltd, and is funded by the ACT Government under the Calvary Network Agreement.  

“Calvary Public Hospital provides a significant proportion of the ACT’s public hospital services and inappropriate financial management has occurred and is a major concern”. Maxine said.  

Dr Cooper has called for two fundamental issues to be considered by the ACT Government:

  • the appropriateness of continuing to use the Calvary Network Agreement for facilitating the delivery of public hospital services at Bruce; and  
  • whether or not staff in the Calvary Public Hospital should continue to be employed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994.

“Calvary Health Care ACT Ltd lodged two 2014 annual reports with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, in August and then again in October 2014. These indicated a deteriorating financial position. The loss finally reported was $9.451 million against an initial surplus of $1.925 million.  

“it is a concern that neither the Little Company of Mary Health Care Ltd nor the ACT Government had an accurate understanding of the 2013?14 year financial position of Calvary Health Care ACT Ltd’s Public Hospital until October 2014.

“Although a small number of Calvary Health Care ACT Ltd executives and staff were involved in undertaking the inappropriate financial practices others were aware of this, but did not report it. Calvary Public Hospital staff are employed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994 which requires inappropriate practices be reported,” said Dr Cooper.

UPDATE: This just in from the Health Directorate:

ACT Health Director-General, Nicole Feely, has welcomed today’s release of the Auditor-General’s Report on Calvary Public Hospital Financial and Performance Reporting and Management.

“The ACT Government referred these serious matters to the Auditor-General and we welcome today’s release of the Auditor-General’s Report,” Ms Feely said.

“The ACT Government will now closely consider the Report’s recommendations to formally respond to the findings.

“ACT Health values the relationship we have with Calvary and recognises the important health services Calvary Public Hospital provides to the Canberra community.

“We will work closely with the Little Company of Mary in response to the Report’s findings and recommendations,” Ms Feely said.

The Liberals have also responded:

An Auditor-General’s report released today has uncovered major failings including the manipulation of health financial reports in order to mislead, Shadow Minister for Health and Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Hanson said today.

“The Auditor General’s report Calvary and Public Hospital Financial and Performance Reporting and Management highlights inappropriate financial practices regarding the ‘recording and reporting of the finances of the public hospital services by Calvary Health Care’. Almost $9 million was falsely reported in 2013-14,” Mr

Hanson said.

“The Auditor-Generals reports states:

“It’s is incumbent on the ACT Health Directorate, as the party ultimately responsible for the management of the delivery of public hospital services, to take a strong leadership role. This was lacking in 2013-14” Pg 2

“There was manipulation of financial and other reports in order to mislead” Pg 3

“In 2013-14 communication between the ACT Health Directorate and Calvary Health Care ACT Ltd was inadequate to effectively implement the Calvary Network Agreement. There was a lack of adherence to agreed communication protocols” Pg 5

“This report is a damning indictment on ACT Health’s ability to manage public hospital services in the ACT.

“Unfortunately we continue to witness poor management and a causal approach to the spending of public money from this Labor government,” Mr Hanson concluded.

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