Monday, December 12, 2011

Queensland Health abolished in wake of fraud scandal - 12th Dec 2011

Premier Anna Bligh has announced that she will abolish Queensland Health and "start again" in the wake of a major fraud scandal.

Ms Bligh says the arrest this morning of Queensland Health employee Joel Barlow for allegedly embezzling $16 million from the department was the final chapter in the life of the ailing agency.

Police expect to lay charges within the next day against Mr Barlow, who was arrested outside his inner-Brisbane unit and is under guard in Royal Brisbane Hospital.

Ms Bligh says the embezzlement was a result of insufficient financial safeguards within the department.

Queensland's anti-corruption watchdog has also launched an investigation into why the department and the police failed to follow up on a complaint about Barlow last year.

It comes on top of other problems like the payroll system failures and the jailing of former surgeon Jayant Patel.

Ms Bligh says she is so fed up with the scandals she is splitting the department in two. She says the department needs "a new beginning". Read More