NSW Health has a consultancy problem. The reliance on consultants is truly staggering, running into very many millions of dollars. It’s often difficult to get a handle on how much public money is pouring into private pockets. These firms report to their shareholders, not to the people of NSW.
This August, Secretary Gerard Hayes and Assistant Secretary Lauren Hutchins gave evidence to the NSW Upper House Inquiry into the government’s use and management of consultancy services.
Gerard and Lauren recounted frightening misuse of public funds, often without accountability, checks or balances.
If the PwC scandal of the last few months has taught us anything, it should be that many large consulting businesses exist to help themselves and no one else. They amass power and money in frightening quantities. Transparency is their natural enemy.
That’s why the HSU has pushed - successfully - for a Special Commission of Inquiry into Health Spending. We have to expose these deals so we can make sure public money goes where it needs to: health workers and patients.