Thursday, July 08, 2010

Medical service chairman accused of intent to supply methamphetamines to indigenous youths

Nothing unusual in a West Australian man being charged with possession of ice (amphetamine) with intent to supply except that the accused is Phillip Ugle, until recently the chairman of the board of the South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS).

Mr Ugle, 46, from Collie, 200km south of Perth, resigned as chairman of SWAMS two days before the drug supply charge was laid by police in May.

Mr Ugle served as SWAMS chairman from 2007 until December last year, and was reappointed this year.

Health workers have told
The Australian they tried to warn management at the medical service about allegations concerning his conduct in Collie and Bunbury.

There's apparently bitter fighting between rival groups for control of SWAMS:

The criminal charge against Mr Ugle comes amid a bitter dispute between Ms Humes and a previous chairwoman of SWAMS, Debra Bennell, who is working to set up a rival health service.

Ms Bennell is spearheading a community push against Ms Humes, who is a Koori, claiming local Nyoongars are angry at the quality of care provided by SWAMS, and Ms Humes's salary.

Ms Humes is reported to be receiving an annual salary package of close to $200,000. Her contract reportedly includes a "golden handshake" clause, which stipulates that Ms Humes will be paid one year's salary upon completion of her contract.

With that kind of government money up for grabs it's no wonder factions are fighting for control.


Anonymous Hal said...

What is not mentioned is that Debra Bennell was kicked out as chairwoman for siding against health staff who complained about being abused by her relatives. All up it is a standard example of nepotism obstructing the delivery of Aboriginal health.

10:29 AM  

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