Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Red News Readers,

Perhaps Debra Picone and Ken Barker could make a personal Christmas donation to those hospital wards where nurses can’t do their job properly because they don’t have the basic equipment like stethoscopes, sphymanometers, ECG paper, dressings, basic medications, blue sheets for incontinent patients to sit on, and I could go on!! It is symptomatic of NSW Health that the bureaucrats are taking home large pay packets and health services can’t pay their bills and staff can’t supply patients, the taxpaying people of NSW with their entitlement to basic health services.

Jenny Haines

Health woes fail to hurt bosses' pay


December 8, 2009, smh

NSW hospitals have gone over budget by almost $160 million in the past financial year - and still owe $70 million in unpaid accounts, the NSW Health annual report shows.

But its top five bureaucrats have been paid almost $1.8 million between them, including a salary of more than $411,000 for the department's director-general, Debora Picone.

Professor Picone's four deputies were each paid between $309,000 and $366,000 while the chief financial officer, Ken Barker, responsible for managing the department's budget, was paid $292,000.

The high salaries were paid even though most hospitals failed to meet several important targets: more patients are waiting longer to be transferred from ambulance stretchers into emergency departments and too many are having their surgery cancelled on the day it is scheduled.

The four area health services which ''contributed significantly to the unfavourable'' blow-out were Sydney West, Northern Sydney Central Coast, North Coast and Greater Western. The department said it would crack down on hospitals failing to meet budget and would closely monitor staffing costs, which constitute the largest part of the budget.

Six area health services also failed to meet the 45-day benchmark to pay creditors, owing more than $69 million. Another $81,000 was outstanding at the end of the financial year, but ''suppliers were paid in the next available creditor payment run'', the report said. Those struggling to pay bills have been ordered to detail how their creditor problem will be solved.