NOBODY knows who is at the helm of Tasmania's public health system, say the state's major health unions.
Since the restructure of the sector into the three Tasmanian Health Organisations, there is no apparent leadership and no obvious plan or direction, Australian Nursing Federation Tasmanian secretary Neroli Ellis said yesterday.
Health and Community Services Union assistant state secretary Tim Jacobson said that there was a lack of clarity between the new health organisations and Health and Human Services on who had what decision-making abilities.
``Everyone is still trying to get a handle on what the new world is nine months after it started,'' Mr Jacobson said.
Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne said that she was surprised at the unions' comments because union representatives had not raised the issues with her.
``I have full confidence in the Tasmanian Health Organisation model which has delivered an unprecedented level of community say in the running of Tasmania's health system,'' Ms O'Byrne said.
But Mrs Ellis said that it was often taking up to six weeks to get a meeting with Tasmanian Health Organisation chairman Graeme Houghton.
Then it was not clear who was making governance decisions - Mr Houghton as head of the health organisations, Matthew Daly as Health Department secretary or Ms O'Byrne.
``Governance is a key issue in the lack of leadership in Tasmanian health,'' Mrs Ellis said.
``It means that nothing has been done about things like the recommendations for health reform contained in the Goddard report earlier this year and those from the ANF nearly two years ago.''
Mr Jacobson said 2013 was shaping up to be a key year for workplace agreement negotiations.
``We still have no idea who will be fronting up to those negotiations,'' he said.
``Each of the Tasmanian Health Organisations is their own entity and then there's the department and the public sector management - it could mean that the employers end up arguing with themselves over arrangements.''