Monday, July 13, 2009

'Big Brother' hospital plan angers doctors

TheAge

THE State Government has a secret plan to track the movement of staff around the new Royal Children's Hospital using radio tags, which has outraged unions and raised fears of setting a precedent in employee surveillance.

Doctors say the plan smacks of Big Brother, and they will refuse to wear the tags when the hospital opens in 2011.

Documents obtained by The Age reveal that, in January last year the project control group for the $1 billion hospital discussed a "comprehensive patient and staff radio frequency identification tracking system".

Despite the fact that the system was specified in the hospital's design and contract more than a year ago, the Government played down the issue when asked about it last week by The Age. A spokesman for Health Minister Daniel Andrews said only that the idea was "still under consideration".

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