NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet says his family did not receive special treatment after he called Health Minister Brad Hazzard while his wife Helen was suffering a medical emergency.
Since the revelation, both the Premier and Health Services Union (HSU) chief, Gerard Hayes condemned the leaked health records.
On Tuesday, Mr Perrottet was quizzed by Sky News journalist Sharri Markson if Mr Hazzard or NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan had arranged an ambulance. When asked, Mr Perrottet said he was “not sure” who made the call.
He said he called Mr Hazzard while he was in a meeting with Mr Morgan. Both advised him to go “straight home” and told him he needed an ambulance.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet admitted to calling Health Minister Brad Hazzard while his wife was in pain. Picture: Edwina Pickles/ POOL
During the call, Mr Hazzard asked for Mr Perrottet’s address; however, the Premier said he was only told on Wednesday that it was Mr Morgan who called emergency services.
“I’ve been completely transparent in relation to the situation. Never at all did I seek to get any treatment ahead of anyone else and that’s been proven by Dom Morgan,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“My wife was in immense pain. I spoke to Brad, it was a low-order priority. I’m sure the commissioner can provide a statement in relation to that situation.”
Mr Perrottet with his wife Helen and daughter Celeste. Picture: NCA/NewsWire/Natalie Grono
Leaked records condemned by Premier, HSU
Mr Perrottet said he was unaware who leaked his family’s medical records but denounced the action.
“I don’t believe that anyone’s private medical records should be leaked. That’s not about Helen, that’s about anyone’s private records,” he said.
“She was crying, she couldn’t move, she was lying in bed. She almost blacked out going to the bathroom.”
HSU Secretary Gerard Hayes also condemned the privacy breach, and said releasing health information of family members was “unconscionable”.
“Elections are rough and tumble affairs and that’s to be expected. However, the private health information of a politician’s family should never be politicised,” Mr Hayes said.
“If there have been abuses of process, then these can be reported and investigated.
“We often disagree with the Premier. In fact right now we are in the midst of industrial action. But the sensitive health information of his family is totally off limits.”
During Mr Perrottet’s interview with Markson, he was pressed multiple times over why he called Mr Hazzard over a doctor or an ambulance.
“Do you understand that most people in NSW wouldn’t have the access to call the health minister or ambulance commissioner when they need an ambulance?” she asked.
Mr Perrottet only found out today that NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan had called an ambulance to his home. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Flavio Brancaleone
A Bureau of Health Information report released earlier this month found ambulance wait times had decreased in the October to December 2022 quarter, after peaking in April to June 2022.
During the most recent quarter, ambulances responded to Priority 1A (the highest) calls on an average of 8.4 minutes, Priority P1 calls in 14.5 minutes and P2 calls in 26.1 minutes.
This comes as NSW paramedics have begun a week-long revolt against rules that require them to stay with non-urgent patients until they are transferred to hospital staff.
Instead, they will leave low-risk and non-urgent cases unattended so they can respond to emergency calls.
Read related topics:Dominic Perrottet