ICAC sent details of John Della Bosca call
Simon Benson Chief Political Reporter
The Daily Telegraph February 22, 2010
THE day after MP Belinda Neal allegedly offered to help get medical favours for a Labor party member whose vote she needed, her husband and MP John Della Bosca rang the NSW health chief asking for her assistance.
It has been confirmed Mr Della Bosca, a former health minister, called NSW Health director general Debora Picone asking for help with a constituent of his wife.
Ms Picone is believed to have told Mr Della Bosca to take the matter through the proper formal channels.
Mr Della Bosca's approach has been included in an interim departmental report sent to the ICAC on the case of Louisa Sauvage - a 72-year-old waiting for a hip replacement, who is acting president for the Wamberal/Terrigal branch in Ms Neal's marginal seat of Robertson.
The report is believed to have found that no one in the health department acted improperly.
Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt's office has confirmed the minister was made aware of Mr Della Bosca's call to Ms Picone last Tuesday (16 February 2010?)
Decisions about a person's place on a surgery list are made purely on the basis of their clinical needs as determined by clinicians," Ms Tebbutt said in a statement yesterday.
"With regards to this patient, the information that I have is that her surgery needs were re-assessed by the hospital based on advice from her GP and specialist on February 9. The department of health has sent a report on this matter to ICAC."
Ms Sauvage has alleged Ms Neal offered to help her in exchange for her vote in the preselection on March 6 which will decide the candidate for the seat of Robertson.
Ms Neal, however, denied she had made any offer in exchange for Ms Sauvage's vote and claimed Ms Sauvage had asked for her help.
Ms Neal has admitted she organised for her office to write to the head of the Central Coast Area Health Service on behalf of Ms Sauvage.
However, it has now been revealed Mr Della Bosca also made a call to Ms Picone on February 13.
Ms Neal told The Daily Telegraph last week she often made representations on behalf of constituents and denied she had done anything out of the ordinary for Ms Sauvage.
Ms Neal and Mr Della Bosca did not return calls yesterday.