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.