Health Minister Cameron Dick fails to respond to an Open Letter on the grounds that public hospitals are ” statutory bodies that are independent and locally controlled” .


4  March 2017

An OPEN LETTER  to Hon Cameron Dick,  Queensland Minister for Health  

Dear Hon Cameron Dick,

I  met with you on 11 August 2016, at that meeting I asked you to respond to a very inappropriate letter that I have received from the then CEO of xxxxxx Hospital, Dr xxxxx  I have also written numerous times asking for a response to that letter and also asked for a response as to why my complaint regarding a senior doctor was not taken seriously, as the CEO refused to look into the complaint on the grounds that the doctor had a good reputation. This was an unprofessional and illogical reason.

Despite numerous letters to you, I had no response.  Finally I received a letter dated 20 December 2016.  But this letter does not even mention the inappropriate letter from the hospital CEO or the failure of QLD Health to look into my complaint regarding a senior doctor.   Please provide a response to the letter from the hospital CEO.  This letter was very aggressively written and was highly defensive.  I believe the intent of this letter was to belittle me and threaten me into not talking further about the poor care received at xxxxxx Hospital.

Regarding the need for an advocacy service for Palliative Care patients, I am not surprised at your lack of interest , despite you having been quoted as saying you want QLD to have the best Palliative Care service.  Your letter contained useless political spin, I have seen no evidence of anyone in Queensland wanting to improve Palliative Care services.

You have communicated with stakeholders, but these represent service providers that make money from Palliative Care.  For example, the then President of Palliative Care Queensland was also the Director of St Vincent’s Hospital, the organisation with the most to gain financially from palliative care services to public patients.  The current president refuses to speak to me, I assume because I am just a health consumer and it is health providers that provide funds for Palliative Care Qld.

You have also communicated with Health Consumers Qld which is an organisation that is funded by and supports QLD HealthHCQ just told me they have no funding for palliative care.  HCQ provides an illusion of  interaction with the community through a system of carefully chosen consumer representatives who work for health services and filter information from consumers.  There is no means available for a consumer like myself to have any voice or give any feedback.  You will tell me there are surveys, but no one tells consumers like myself about surveys, I assume stakeholders inform consumers who have had a positive experience, and so look after their own interests.

I have found no evidence of any desire by yourself, the Health Department  or QLD Health to improve palliative care services.  It seems the focus is on using palliative care services in such a way as to reduce hospital costs as much as possible and unfortunately this is often at the expense of patients.

I don’t believe that there is anyone in authority in QLD who has any genuine interest in improving the care of dying patients.  If I am wrong, please pass on the following link, where I have identified 9 points that could lead to improvement. The article also contains references to the CEO’s letter.

I have also had a letter from the Director General of QLD Health, Mr Michael Walsh and he refuses to respond to the letter from the hospital CEO or the CEO‘s refusal to look into a complaint that I made regarding a senior doctor except to say that the letter was “strongly worded”.  This was genuine feedback and it should have been taken seriously. 

Please provide me with a response regarding the letter from the hospital CEO  and please also look into my complaint re Dr xxxxx xxxxx.

This letter was sent to Hon Cameron Dick on 8 January 2017 and I have had no reply.(despite contacting his office a number of times to ask why I received no response ).

Your Sincerely

Ignored Queensland Voter


A letter dated 08/03/2017 was received from the Hon Cameron Dick excusing himself from responding as public hospitals are ” statutory bodies that are independent and locally controlled” . He also wrongly stated that the issue had been dealt with by the Health Ombudsman. This issue is outside the scope of the Health Ombudsman.

17  March 2017

Dear Hon Cameron Dick, 

RE Your letter dated 08/03/2017 

I received your letter and note your refusal to respond to the issues that I had raised.   Having conveniently made public hospitals , ” statutory bodies that are independent and locally controlled” does not change the fact that you are ultimately responsible for the function of public hospitals. 

When it suits you, you often comment on public hospital issues. There is no excuse for you not providing a response when the hospital system is not seen to be working well.  I have not been able to get any reasonable response from the hospital or the hospital board, therefore it is appropriate that you as Minister for Health provide a response and look into the issues. 

You  claimed that I had received a written response from the hospital board. Mr xxxxx  xxxxx wrote and told me that the board could see nothing wrong with the extremely inappropriate letter that I received from the hospital CEO.  I do not believe anyone would consider this a serious response.  It was just the board’s way of saying that they refused to look into the matter. 

In respect to my complaint re Dr xxxxxx,  

  1. It was wrong of you to say this issue had been to the Health Ombudsman, it had not. Dr xxxxxx was not mentioned in my complaint to the OHO.
  2. My complaint re Dr xxxxxx is outside the scope of the OHO as Dr xxxxxx did not provide any direct health treatment.
  3. My complaint re Dr xxxxxx was regarding what I perceived to be the very rude and arrogant way in which Dr xxxxxx responded to my feedback regarding the hospital.  Please  read my previous letter re Dr xxxxxx.
  4. The OHO has told me that they have no power or influence regarding the way in which health services choose to respond to complaints such as this one.
  5. You are ultimately responsible for health care in Queensland and when the system fails to ensure that people receive a reasonable response from health services, it is therefore appropriate that I request a response from yourself when the health service has treated me in what I perceive to be a very rude and disrespectful manner.  The health service claims that they welcome feedback yet I seem to have been insulted and belittled because I attempted to give genuine feedback. I cannot understand why you refuse to respond.

Please provide a response regarding the very inappropriate letter that I received from the hospital CEO, it was very aggressive and extremely defensively written, it contained much misinformation  and irrelevant information clearly demonstrating that the CEO did not check the facts before writing the letter but based it on wrong assumptions. 

I also ask that you look into the very poor standard of care that public hospital cancer patients can receive in Queensland and the failure of hospitals to inform patients as to how much their care is being affected by resource pressure and healthcare rationing. 

Yours sincerely 

Ignored Queensland Voter


One comment

  1. Pingback: This Palliative Care Week I call on the Queensland Health Minister, Hon Cameron Dick to resign. « AUSTRALIAN PALLIATIVE CARE

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