The board of the troubled Mackay Hospital in Queensland has been fired after a damning report found inadequate care contributed to the deaths of three babies and dozens of women suffered lifelong physical and mental damage.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath announced the decision on Tuesday and said an administrator had been appointed.
“I made that recommendation to the governor on the council because I was convinced that it is in the public interest that all members of the council be fired,” she said in a statement.
“In the circumstances, I am not satisfied that the Board of Directors is able to implement the report’s recommendations, including the cultural change needed across the hospital.”
The nine-member board had been given a November 4 TBEN to respond to a notice of the show’s cause and justify why it should not be fired following a damning report to the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Queensland Central Hospital.
Four clinicians and another member of staff had resigned and were referred to the ombudsman after the report released in October found inadequate care at the hospital contributed to the deaths of three babies.
It also identified issues with incident monitoring, management of safety and quality complications, and clinical deterioration between 2019 and 2021.
Ros Bates, the health spokeswoman for the Liberal National Opposition, was outraged by the timing of the announcement coinciding with the report in the QPS.
“The timing of the announcement is dripping with arrogance,” Ms Bates said.
“Despite weeks of clear warnings… Yvette D’Ath rushed through an extraordinary meeting with the governor on the same day that the Palaszczuk government’s failings were exposed in another damning report.
“Victims of domestic and family violence and the mothers of Mackay are the ones who lose if the government has no interest in letting the sun shine on critical issues we need to address.”
The state government ordered the hospital inquiry after female patients complained of complications from cesarean deliveries and inadequate hospital care.
Nearly 100 women reported being neglected and experiencing persistent pain from unresolved medical conditions.
About 26 cases fell below expected medical standards, resulting in personal injury or damage, the report found.
The administrator appointed to the hospital is Karen Roach, who has more than 35 years of experience in management and leadership roles in health organizations in the public and private sectors.
“I am confident that Ms. Roach will work well with Special Counsel Dr. Robert Herkes and the hard-working staff at Mackay HHS to deliver better services,” said Ms. D’Ath.
The Australian Medication Association of Queensland and the Nurses Union have been contacted for comment.