Queensland Health Minister Faces Crime and Corruption Commission After Hospital Naming Claims

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The State Government of Queensland, Australia is receiving criticism over the recent name change of its premier pediatric hospital, with claims that the government has breached the Crime and Corruption Act. These claims state that the government falsified records and influenced a recent public internet survey, and have resulted in Health Minister Steven Miles being referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission.

The specialist children’s hospital was formally rebranded from the ‘Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital’ after reported concerns from staff and the state government that the general public was not aware if the hospital was government operated or a private hospital, as well as questions about Lady Cilento’s medical recommendations and reported racist and homophobic writings. The hospital originally opened in 2014 at a building cost of AUD $1.4 billion.

The opposition in the government have stated that the Health Minister influenced the poll to ensure that the ‘Queensland Children’s Hospital’ was selected, with claims that a number of votes had come from his offices. The re-naming officially occurred on the 9th of November this year, at an estimated cost of AUD $500,000.

Steven Miles states he is not aware of any evidence to support these claims, and as  yet none has been provided by the opposition government. Anyone found to have been in breach of the act faces a maximum 14 year prison sentence.

The Crime and Corruption Commission has acknowledged receiving the complaint, however highlighted that this is the initial step.

“It is important to note that an assessment is not an investigation. When the CCC receives a complaint, it first conducts an assessment to determine whether the matter falls within the CCC’s jurisdiction, whether an investigation is warranted, and, if so, which agency should be responsible.”

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