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Byron Shire
October 6, 2022

Health minister, bureaucrats mute over alleged fraud at local hospital

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Hans Lovejoy

Allegations that at least three former managers at Byron Hospital embezzled public money remain unexplained by both NSW health minister Brad Hazzard (Liberal) and his health officials.

The Echo was contacted anonymously by three individuals at different times with knowledge of the allegations and an internal report into the matter.

Hazzard’s office handed Echo questions back to the department that undertook the investigation. Both refuse to provide any information.

Chief executive of Northern NSW Local Health District Wayne Jones said, ‘We treat all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously and investigate where appropriate. However, it is not appropriate to comment on internal staff matters.’

Local Greens state MP Tamara Smith told The Echo, ‘It is disappointing that the community is not being told anything about alleged fraudulent conduct on the part of high-level managers within a public hospital’.

Right to know: MP

‘It is public moneys that fund our public hospitals and communities have a right to know the substantive details of any corruption in our hospitals. Not to mention the many decades of hospital auxiliary members, and community members who have raised funds and supported public hospitals in Byron Shire.

‘We don’t need the names, but we do deserve to know what went down and what steps the Local Area Health Service is taking to make sure that any kind of fraudulent behaviour by trusted officials at Byron Hospital or any other hospital never happens again.

‘I receive regular emails from staff and community concerned about shortages of doctors and nurses at Byron Hospital’.

The Echo encourages those who came forward to contact us again should there be more information available.


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4 COMMENTS

  1. Hey, are you people not worried that you might have a visit from the Federal Police? Also the person(s) who may be employed by Area Health are also violating their employment contracts…..

    This is now the sheer ridiculous nature of the ´Secrecy´ surrounding Government employees, & government documents.

    We need:
    – Protection for Whistleblowers
    -Protection for Journalists

    & a Bill of Rights! (We are the ONLY modern democracy that has no Bill of Rights legislation. This can be fixed by a simple act of parliament: That is how it works in Canada.

    As an ex-employee I could tell some stories… (btw, all the WHS committee minutes documents are publicly available: they can make good reading!)

  2. In my experience the current executive and management of Byron hospital are dedicated, hard working people, who are striving to provide the best health service possible to the local area.

  3. Well mulch, the executive might be striving, but certainly not achieving what they are being paid for. It’s my money and I object to it being stolen by people incompetent to check time sheets being submitted to pay office. How many thousands ?? Are the “suspects” stood down without pay. Mr jones this is not an internal staff matter. This is grand theft, 1 – 10 years jail. You can take responsibility for not doing your job, I. e knowing what’s going on in your hospitals. Buck stops with you. You may have the ability, experience and knowledge to investigate breaches in professional ethics, code of conduct, etc but the embezzlement should by this time be firmly in police hands, long overdue

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