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IndyMedia Article: "HealthQuesting" Queensland Public Servants - "Mental Rape"

By Jo Hewitt, 2 Feb 2006

The HealthQuest "soviet style" psychiatry used by NSW government to silence its internal truth-sayers is in itself like NSW's own gas chamber. Of course it could not continue if John Howard or other state premiers protested. The article below was recently sent to me from a Queensland dissident; came across this reporter's desk and we repeat it in full.

Notice the similarities? Personally, I think the comment "civil rights are sacrificed to make up for poor management" understates the inherent torture of the process:

1. First identify the dissident

2. Remove him/her from work, have an inadequate 'investigation' in his/her absence and promote the wrongdo-er (this alone causes stress, humiliation, anxiety)

3. When he/she has been 'softened up', then force them to submit to psychiatris 'assessment'. Collect the psychiatrist's report (Fee c.$900) and use this to somehow medically retire the truth-teller. Or in the case of NSW's HealthQuest they wrote fake retirement certificates and the departments pretended that these miraculously and without the employee's knowledge or consent - retired the employee! Yippee. A miracle! Thank you Dr Gapper, Thank you Dr Jagger. Thank you Dr Mandel. Thank you departments for all the lovely public money donated to HealthQuest!

Slam! Dunk! against human rights, ethics, and laws. Read how the Bertrand Russell Tribunal accused the World Psychiatric Association of 'crimes against humanity' http://www.wbde.org/documents/UnitedNationsAccusationToWorldPsychiatricAssociation.php

The forced psychiatric process includes as many psychiatric 'assessments' as it takes for the [criminal?] departmental manager (or M-D) to get what he wants.

Jo Hewitt


Article printed in The Courier Mail 29 October 2005

“We were doing what we were supposed to be doing, and they were watching dirty movies”

PSYCH TESTS FOR BLOWING WHISTLE

By Tuck Thompson

Two security guards who blew the whistle on pornography screenings at QBuild’s protective service have been paid to stay home for up to a year to avoid retribution.

Now the Queensland Government has ordered the guards to undergo psychiatric testing under Section 85 of the Public Service Act, a move they fear will lead to their sackings.

“If they would remove the managers and the other people who were using the pornography and gazetted an apology to us, we’d be back tomorrow,” said one of the guards, David Schneider.

Industrial law consultant Susan Moriarty said Section 85 was used to victimize public service employees, especially whistleblowers.

“I’m still looking for my first client who hasn’t had a pre-existing dispute with their departments,” she said.

Complaints by Mr Schneider and security officer Steve Rose prompted a CMC investigation last year into on-the-job pornography viewing and distribution at Mineral House. The allegations were confirmed when e-mail accounts were examined.

“The inspection revealed the existence of inappropriate and pornographic material images in a number of account,” said the CMC, which referred further investigation to the Department of Public Works.

The guards said they were bullied and threatened by staff and supervisors who still worked for the department, some of whom had been promoted.

The guards have been on partial pay stress leave for several months after they reportedly were threatened and harassed at work.

In the meantime, the Government will not confirm what disciplinary action has been taken against the nine people accused.

Public Works director-general Mal Grierson said an investigation was completed, but disciplinary recommendations had not been implemented because due process had to be followed with the accused. He denied they had been promoted. The CMC, which is overseeing the department’s investigation, said only that it was “ongoing”.

Ms Moriarty said it was unfair for the Government to force the guards to take the mandatory psychiatric tests before the department had reported to the CMC.

“That’s unbelievable,” she said.

The guards say their safety was put in jeopardy by the porn-viewers because they are supposed to be alert to alarms and provide back-up for security in the field.

“We were doing what we were supposed to be doing, and they were watching dirty movies,” Mr Rose said. “Now we are the ones being pubished with Section 85s”

Mr Grierson said the assessments were routine for workers who had been absent for a long time.

The guards said several co-workers and bosses were preoccupied e-mailing pornography.

One supervisor obsessed with hard-core porn even brought a DVD player to work and plugged it in to security monitors, they said.

Veteral supervisor Geoff Schultz worried about the repercussions of supporting the guards but could not remain silent.

“I’m 52 and I really wanted to go to 65,” he said. “But what these blokes said should have happened 10 years ago, I just didn’t have the guts to do it.”

Another security guard, Paul Scarborough, has taken stress leave because he says he has been harassed for supporting the other guards.

Mr Grierson said he could not control the actions of workers, but harassment in the workplace would not be tolerated.

Mr Rose remained skeptical.

“Of course they’d say that, but why didn’t they do that from the start?” he said. “All of the people who wrote false memos and told lies, they’ve all been paid off with promotions. We’ve lost everything. I’ve had to put my house up for sale.”

The Queensland Public Sector Union was disappointed the Government did not give the men protection under the Whistleblower Act because they made disclosures in the public interest.

Mr Grierson said the protection was provided anyway. “Under the Public Sector Ethics Act, officers are required to disclose misconduct on which they become aware. Officers are afforded all support and protection whether they are whistleblowers or not.”

The guards are afraid of being “set up” when they return to their jobs and will only come back if they can work in the same unit.

Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said the workers had been abandoned by Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten and the CMC.

“These workers have been subjected to institutional abuse, apparently with the full support of senior management,” he said.

“Once again we see the victimisation of the messengers and a pig-headed failure to address the reality.”

“This is just what we saw in the Health Department, and the Department of Public Works is carrying on the Beattie Government tradition.” Mr Schwarten declined comment, saying it was a staffing issue.

What is Section 85?

Section 85 of Queensland’s Public Service Act is feared by public service workers because it can be manipulated by bureaucrats to bully workers who complain.

Several pages of personal and humiliating questions are asked during a compulsory psychiatric test, leaving workers “mentally raped”.

The information can be leaked or used against the employee.

The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties has said some questions appeared to breach anti-discrimination laws.

Liberal MP Dr Bruce Flegg has called for a ban on Section 85, saying it was being abused, and many of those tested had made complaints about staff or working conditions.

Many doctors and lawyers are opposed to Section 85 because civil rights are sacrificed to make up for poor management


[See the original article and all comments at: http://sydney.indymedia.org/node/35366]


Selected comments

Thanks for that article Jo

Yes, it is terrible that this is happening. I'd like to make the comment that no psychiatrist has ever cured a patient. I find the whole thing completely disgusting. People have been asking why nurses who knew nursing home patients were being sexually abused didn't come forward and speak up right away, instead waiting some months. These nurses no doubt knew what would hit them should they dare to complain about their co-worker. Something like happened to Gerard Crewdson when he complained of assault (requiring hospitalization) and other atrocities committed on disabled residents of a group home. He was put on leave, his guilty co-workers wrote untrue work reports criticizing him, he was accused of being a fruit cake and forced to attend HealthQuest. Eventually he was coerced into leaving - in effect he was sacked. He immediately lost everything - the home he had been renting, his furniture and possessions, his lifestyle, the whole lot. If these nurses who kept quiet had children they were supporting, anyone can understand why they had to think carefully before coming forward. My guess is they'll be forced out of their positions in the next few months and blacklisted so they never get work again in nursing. Remember what Craig Knowles did to the nurses who complained of deaths at Campbelltown Hospital?

Bob, 28 Feb 2006

Howard and Iemma Still "Ignorant of Healthquest''

Howard, Carr, and Iemma all ignored the whistleblowers reports and the laws regarding Healthquest. They should be chucked in jail. Better still deport them. Go away grubby little men. Your personal odour is sickening.

Here is 5 cents. Buy yourself some decency.

When I was teaching in NSW, instead of teaching the kids the moral and ethical lessons of not bullying, and not picking on people you think are 'different' (discrimination), I should have been teaching them survival techniques. Such as reciting: "When politician [insert name. eg Howard, Carr, Aquilina, Iemma] tells you that he is not corrupt, how can you tell if her is lying? Answer: if his lips are moving"

I am another trusting patsy that complained in NSW Education and was given the Healthquest treatment under Aquilina and Carr. When I lobbied for help from Howard and Beazley they too were just two more fat lazy snouts helping themselves from the public funds, and ignoring their responsibilities to us the public. As useless as tits on a bull. Or, in this case, as useless as tits on a male pig.

So Howard is raising money to self-promote himself. What a sickening exhibition - this grubby little man must know he is muck. I find that people with integrity do not have to have titles for people to recognise their value. Lets face it, if little Johnnie Howard had not scraped onto himself a high-falutin' title of prime minister, how many people would want to talk to it? Without the title he is nothing.

But sadly most australians don't demand their politicians to be held responsible. This is hard to understand. Ssurely people know that the politicians have to hand the combined knowledge of EVERYONE under them. There is no question they cannot ask regarding the running of their department or portfolio.

At any time they can circulate EVERYONE under them and ask "is there any problem or wrong which I should be told about?"

Simple isn't it?

My healthquest torture ran the usual line. And it nearly killed me.

First my union the Teachers Federation but urged me to speak out about the kids being victimised, bullied, and discriminated out of their education by australian low-life then refused to help me when the department sprayed its venom on me

When my complaints climbed the chain to the poncing egos at the top, the message came down and the local brown-noses in the department dragged me out of the classroom.

They wrote a pack of lies, and thumbed their noses at the departments self-serving claims to follow the Privacy Act.

Their secret files grew fat. They sent their secret lies to Healthquest people who then wrote a phoney retirement certificate. At that time i believed it was legitimate. Later I found out I was tricked out of my job and money. And, what they did to my professional name was criminal.

But the funny thing is.

I fought back. Got other work (had to do this without references at first) but now I tell everyone about HealthQuest, and try to help other whistleblowers and now people treat me with respect, and trust me with their valuables.

Eat your heart out politicians.

Today we have probably the laziest mot corrupt politicians in Australia's history.

What do you think?

Ed McDonald, 4 Mar 2006

Workplace illusions

Work place reform?

If we all conform to the current illusion, we'll never know (or even our children) understand what is the real truth anymore. I guess that's what the government wants us to understand!

Anonymous, 3 Apr 2006