Vicki Dunne has accused ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith of “laughing” at Canberrans seeking urgent medical attention.
Dunne, the Liberal health spokesperson, accused the minister of having “laughed after encouraging Canberra patients needing emergency care to go Calvary instead of the Canberra Hospital due to long waits”.
Dunne quotes Stephen-Smith of saying in the Legislative Assembly this week: “We can also see the wait times for our emergency departments which are today at the Canberra Hospital is looking pretty bad but Calvary’s looking good so if you need to go to emergency today, if you can, please go to Calvary ah, haha.”
“CityNews” is unable to independently confirm the accuracy of this quote.
“This is unmistakably inappropriate humour,” Dunne says.
“People who access emergency are in pain and distress, it’s no laughing matter.
“Within hours of the minister’s inappropriate jokes, I spent more than three hours at the Canberra Hospital emergency department. The staff were clearly under the pump. The people in the waiting room did not consider the situation a laughing matter.”