Dear colleagues,

I’d like to thank you for your patience while we’ve been resolving leadership issues at THO-South and the Royal Hobart Hospital.

I’d also like to apologise to you for any distress or uncertainty caused by the difficulties the Government and I have had in communicating openly because of the associated legal issues.

It’s unfortunate that I couldn’t fully respond to media speculation or correct factual inaccuracies. It’s only now that a summary of the Integrity Commission’s final report (provided to the Premier yesterday) has been tabled in Parliament that I can write to you.

On Friday last week the Premier received advice from the Governing Council of THO-S that it no longer had confidence in the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Jane Holden, to discharge the responsibilities of the role.

Within the hour the Premier withdrew the recommendation that Ms Holden continue in that role, and appointed Mr Matthew Daly, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, to undertake the role of Acting Chief Executive Officer of THO-S for a period of six months.

While Mr Daly is in this position that role will be his total focus, and he will not be undertaking any continuing responsibilities associated with the role of Secretary of the DHHS. Instead, Mr Michael Pervan has been appointed Acting Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

I understand that the advice received from the THO-S Governing Council, outlining their loss of confidence in Ms Holden, was not arrived at overnight. It arose from concerns over performance in the role of Acting Chief Executive Officer, which had been the subject of discussions between the Governing Council and Ms Holden. These are discussions between employer and employee – it is clearly not appropriate that they occur in public.

In addition to this, it is was neither legal nor appropriate to comment publicly on the nature or activities of the Integrity Commission until the final report had been provided to the Premier and tabled in Parliament. Any speculation before that would have been premature and quite likely harmful.

My statement to Parliament today is available here.

The primary and community services delivered by THO-S fill a vital role in the provision of an integrated health service. Good leadership and good governance is central to that provision.

As Minister, I am committed to ensuring that the appropriate governance and management mechanisms are in place to support the delivery of efficient, effective, safe and sustainable health services.

Together we can develop, maintain, and continue to improve a health system of which all Tasmanians can be proud.

Thankyou for the work you are doing to bring better health to Tasmanians.

Michael Ferguson MP
Minister for Health

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