The Weatherill Government is wasting millions of dollars on expensive health consultancies at a time when cuts are being implemented in critical health programs.
“Minister Snelling has just announced yet another review by consultants into the efficiency of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital,” Shadow Minister for Health Rob Lucas said.
“The Weatherill Government has already spent more than $900,000 on consultants KPMG and Deloitte to review the efficiency of the metropolitan area health networks.
“The Government also spent $1.7 million on consultants PKF to help fix errors created by the introduction of the Oracle system.
“Auditor-General figures for 2011/12 show Health SA increased spending on consultancies by 227 per cent in the last two years, from $1.1 million to $3.6 million.
“However, real spending on consultancies is actually much higher as some consultancy expenditure is hidden in the $72 million ‘contractor’ expenditure budget line.
“Minister Snelling needs to explain why he continues to spend so much on consultants when he has about 90 Health bureaucrats earning between $150,000 and $440,000.
“The Government also announced in 2011/12 the establishment of a budget reform unit to ensure budget cuts were achieved. Health Chief Executive David Swan indicated the unit would comprise 13 FTE staff at a total cost of $10 million over four years.
“Minister Snelling has now just announced the establishment of a Health Reform Advisory Committee to implement reform and efficiency in the health system.
“It is clear Minister Snelling and Health SA are terrified to actually make decisions themselves about managing their budget and are desperate to hide behind the cloak of consultants’ recommendations.
“Instead of making decisions they just commission more reviews and appoint more consultants. Whilst consultants can play an important role it should be limited to specialised advice where the public service doesn’t have the skills.
“Minister Snelling should now reduce the wastage of taxpayers’ money on consultancies and demand that all of his highly-paid bureaucrats start doing what they have been paid to do – make decisions and manage the department.”