Tuesday, September 13, 2011
It Seems NEHTA Is Having Some Employee Relationship Issues And Is Really Becoming Self Destructive and Damaging to At Least Some Employees.
In the last few weeks I have been hearing what is building to a crescendo of rumblings and concerns about the way NEHTA is being managed.
Before listing what I am hearing I have to make the point that virtually all those who have been in touch are, for one reason or another, no longer with the organisation. In my opinion this gives veracity to their comments as they really have no reason to be untruthful - given that their relationship with the organisation has been severed. I also think that to have multiple former employees actively seeking out ways of drawing attention to perceived or actual wrongs (including by contacting me) - certainly indicates a considerable depth of feeling, annoyance and frustration.
I have listed some of the major concerns that I have heard below, and although I cannot confirm the factual accuracy of any of the key concerns, I have heard all of the below sentiments from multiple sources.
Some consistently raised concerns include:
1. That there is a culture of bullying among some layers of management that has been the cause of a significant number of resignations and departures. I have also been told that there are rumours of consultant help being sought - as either a real effort to fix things or maybe just to ‘whitewash’.
2. That there have been at least some Workcover investigations of what is happening at NEHTA.
3. That there have been instances where the Human Resource function may have been less than even handed in mediating issues that have arisen between staff and management.
4. That within NEHTA there is a sense of entitlement of managers which is leading to some rather exceptionally extravagant behaviour - expensive restaurant usage, very expensive mineral water use etc .
5. That the attitude of some NEHTA staff to various volunteer contributors to the e-Health program has been less than reasonable.
6. That NEHTA’s status as neither a Government or Private entity has led to a very concerning lack of accountability for public funds which many suggest is being wasted at an alarming rate.
7. That’s, as an aside I am told that the HR department re-christened itself "People Culture and Change", an acronym which the employees mockingly call the "Praetorian Council of Control".
That I am hearing these stories from multiple sources tends to suggest, to me at least, that we have a situation where the smoke is suggesting there is a fire somewhere that needs to be dealt with.
Given what we all need NEHTA to be and to deliver this all seems a bit sad.
For anyone who feels that they need some external support here are the relevant contact numbers:
Workcover NSW Hotline 13 10 50.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has a Workplace Bullying Hotline 1800 177 717.
Those who have been not treated as they might wish should at least explore making contact with the services above.
Of course anonymous comments are always welcome to allow people to share their problems.
I realise some will say this is part of David’s general anti-NEHTA propaganda but nothing I cite here has less than a really trustworthy source and I really feel there are some people who are feeling pretty disempowered and voiceless in all this who would like the issues aired.
I have compared stories from the various sources and what I am reporting seems to stack up. Given this, although my opinion is set, I leave my readers to decide what to take away from this. My feeling is that major change is really needed with all this if Australian e-Health is to actually progress.
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Tuesday, September 13, 2011