A cowardly political attack launched on the credibility of Member for Mudgeeraba and registered nurse Ros Bates by Health Minister Cameron Dick has been exposed as baseless and misconceived after the Health Ombudsman recommended no further action be taken against Ms Bates.
Mr Dick, who sensationally accused Ms Bates of working as a nurse and breaching patient confidentiality when visiting Gold Coast University and Robina Hospitals, has also received a public slap down from the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service in its submission to the health watchdog.
“Cameron Dicks’ baseless attack on me and my credibility as a registered nurse has been publicly refuted by the Health Ombudsman, once again leaving this Minister red faced and rightfully embarrassed,” said Ms Bates.
“Time and again, Cameron Dick has proved he is glass jawed, dictatorial, and forever willing to put his own ambition ahead of the truth to score political points.
“Today, unequivocally, the Health Ombudsman and the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service have exposed Cameron Dick’s sneaky tricks as nothing more than a sham.”
The Health Ombudsman in his report noted the following:
- I am satisfied that Ms Bates was not working as an RN at the time she visited the hospitals and her attendance was as an observer in her capacity as an MP.
- I note that AHPRA also found that Ms Bates had attended the hospital in her capacity as an MP and had not breached condition 2 of the conditions on her registration as an RN. I accept this decision.
- I accept GCHHS’s advice that there was no breach of confidential information during Ms Bates attendances at the hospitals.
- I accept that any information obtained by Ms Bates about the hospitals was obtained in her capacity as an MP via her own observations or through third parties.
- I am satisfied that any information disseminated by Ms Bates about the hospitals – in Parliament or elsewhere – was in her capacity as an MP.
“At no stage did I ever say that I had worked shifts as a nurse,” said Ms Bates.
“Cameron Dick blatantly misled the Parliament in his tirade and didn’t even bother to check with his own hospitals who would have told him that I was there observing staff and not working as a staff member.”
The submission from GCHHS indicates that:
- Ms Bates visited the hospitals as an observer of certain staff members. She was not assigned duties, paid by GCHHS or responsible for clinical decision making.
- There was no breach of confidential information during Ms Bates’s attendance and any incidents observed by her would have been visible to other patients, visitors and staff. The staff accompanying her were familiar with the privacy and confidentiality obligations in the GCHHS’s Code of Conduct. Ms Bates also had similar obligations as an MP.
- Information received by GCHHS from Ms Bates outlining her observations while attending the hospitals and her recommendations for the issues that she identified during this time is not the type of information considered to represent a breach of confidentiality or patient privacy.
“The Health Ombudsman also declared I visited the hospitals in my role as a Member of Parliament and have not breached the conditions of my nursing registration,” said Ms Bates.
“This saga has been an absolute embarrassment for this Labor Government and Cameron Dick should be ashamed of his baseless attacks on nurses in this State.”