Health Minister hiding the facts on medical deaths and harms

The Minister for Health’s continuing refusal to release the Your Safety in our Hands in Hospital 2022 Annual Report raises serious concerns about the true state of the public hospital system in Western Australia.

Your Safety in our Hands in Hospital is an annual report on clinical incidents and adverse outcomes in Western Australian Public hospitals over a 12-month timeframe.

Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said the Minister’s excuses for not releasing the report, which ordinarily would have been released late last year, do not stack up and only add to speculation about its

Under questioning in Parliament this week the Health Minister released selected data from the report, including clinical incidents and the incidence of SAC-1 events, which are events where health care could have contributed to serious harm, or death.

“I’m particularly concerned about the situation in our regional hospitals, Ms Mettam said.

“Even with the limited data the Minister has released we can see that some regional hospitals are disproportionately represented in the number of SAC-1 events being recorded.

“For example, 6 of the 75 deaths that occurred in the State as a result of SAC-1 events occurred at Port Hedland Hospital.

“It is alarming that a relatively small regional hospital should be so highly represented in the statistics.”
Ms Mettam said the Minister’s excuse that the four-month delay in releasing the report was due to issues around de-identifying case studies and patient confidentiality didn’t add up.

“This report has been published annually for 10 years now, the people who put it together are experienced and this has not previously been a problem,” she said.

“These are just weasel words from a Health Minister who has a history of providing wrong information and now appears to be hiding something.”