An inquiry into alleged misconduct at Peel Health campus should be fast-tracked, despite revelations a key whistleblower was arrested in the United States for identity theft, WA’s Opposition says.
Late last year, the government ordered an independent inquiry into allegations of fraud and corruption at the private hospital near Mandurah, south of Perth.
Its operator, Health Solutions WA, had repaid almost $1.8 million to the State’s health department after allegations doctors were being paid cash bonuses for admitting patients.
The hospital’s former chief executive Ashton Foley made a series of allegations to a parliamentary committee, which praised her for putting “the interests of the people of Western Australia above those of her own”.
But in a twist on Saturday, Ms Foley admitted she served several months in jail waiting for her legal matter to be dealt with, and was released on bond in 2008 without a conviction.
She said she became aware this week of a bench warrant for her arrest in the US.
Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said the inquiry should not be affected by the allegations against Ms Foley - and in fact should be expedited.
“There should be an inquiry, and it should conclude before the (State) election (on March 9),” Mr McGowan said today.
“There is no doubt there are problems at the Peel Health Campus, I think everyone accepts that.
“The government should not be using any revelations to delay the outcome of the inquiry, they should be using revelations to enhance and bring forward the outcomes of the inquiry.”
WA Treasurer Troy Buswell said the details about Ms Foley’s charges had been passed to Public Sector Commissioner Mal Wauchope for investigation.
“It is an issue that will play out over time ... we don’t intend to participate in public commentary on it,” Mr Buswell said.