Washer defends sick note confidentiality

Dr Washer told MO that Mr Thomson had asked him for a consultation before going to hospital with stomach pains earlier this month – although Dr Washer did not see the note until later.

Mr Thomson, under pressure over allegations of misusing a corporate credit card when secretary of the Health Services Union, then presented a doctor’s note excusing him for a week, but opposition chief whip Warren Entsch questioned it as “vague” and requested a diagnosis.

Dr Washer said questioning Mr Thomson’s health was “inappropriate” and he made clear to his colleagues that “the issue of somebody writing a certificate shouldn’t be questioned”.

“There’s been some frank discussion about this and how we might manage situations in the future… in a better way,” he said.

Dr Washer said he sometimes saw colleagues who were unwell and had noticed an increase in