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Entire board of Mackay Hospital sacked, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath says cultural change needed

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The entire board of the Mackay Hospital and Health Service has been sacked and a new administrator appointed.

The report found sub-standard care contributed to the deaths of three babies and caused life-long harm to a number of women.

Following the release of the report, all board members were given a show cause notice and Health Minister Yvette D’Ath extended the deadline to get adequate responses.

This week, Ms D’Ath said it was in the public interest that all members of the board be dismissed.

The Health Minister last visited Mackay to meet with victims of the obstetrics unit in October.

“In the circumstances, I am not satisfied that the board is able to implement the recommendations of the report, including the cultural change needed across the hospital,” Ms D’Ath said.

Melissa Ferrier was the last patient operated on by suspended surgeon George Du Tuit.

A group of six women all looking upset standing in front of a blue wall.
Melissa Ferrier (third from the right) says it’s pleasing the minister has listened to the concerns of those affected by the poor care at the hospital.(ABC Tropical North: Hannah Walsh)

“I’m surprised it’s taken so long but I’m glad they’ve come to the right decision in the end and that everybody has gone,” she said.

“She [the Health Minister] has recognized that [culture] as a massive issue.

“If you don’t have the right culture then everything goes by the wayside.

“She’s finally taken notice of what every single person has said either through the media, in the forums that we’ve had and individual meetings with a variety of people at the hospital.

“I said from the start, words are just words, I want to see actions.

“I think we’re actually making good progress.”

New administrator appointed

Karen Roach has been appointed administrator in place of the board.

Mackay Base Hospital.
The health minister says she doesn’t have confidence the board could implement the needed cultural changes within the service.(Facebook: Mackay Hospital and Health Service)

Ms D’Ath said Ms Roach has more than 35 years of experience in health organisations.

“Ms Roach served as Interim Chief Operating Officer of Metro South and Sunshine Coast HHS and Interim Chief Executive of Townsville HHS,” Ms D’Ath said.

“She has qualifications in nursing and midwifery and was awarded a Centenary of Australia Award for services to nursing and health services across Queensland.”

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