Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Med J Aust. 2004 Jul 5;181(1):44-7.

Three Australian whistleblowing sagas: lessons for internal and external regulation.

Author information

  • 1Medical School, Australian National University, Acton, Canberra, ACT 0200.


The protracted and costly investigations into Camden and Campbelltown hospitals (New South Wales), The Canberra Hospital (Australian Capital Territory), and King Edward Memorial Hospital (Western Australia) recently uncovered significant problems with quality and safety at these institutions. Each investigation arose after whistleblowers alerted politicians directly, having failed to resolve the problems using existing intra-institutional structures. None of the substantiated problems had been uncovered or previously resolved by extensive accreditation or national safety and quality processes; in each instance, the problems were exacerbated by a poor institutional culture of self-regulation, error reporting or investigation. Even after substantiation of their allegations, the whistleblowers, who included staff specialists, administrators and nurses, received little respect and support from their institutions or professions. Increasing legislative protections indicate the role of whistleblowers must now be formally acknowledged and incorporated as a "last resort" component in clinical-governance structures. Portable digital technology, if adequately funded and institutionally supported, may help to transform the conscience-based activity of whistleblowing into a culture of self-reporting, linked to personal and professional development.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Australasian Medical Publishing Company
    Loading ...
    Support Center