13th September 2020
The problem with Brett Sutton, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer – 1
I have made a number of comments/suggestions to Brett Sutton. His lack of responsiveness to my questions set me off on a publicly critical path against this Labor government in Victoria – when then meant I had to resign.
I’ll compile my tweets to Sutton separately, later (that’s why this is #1). I want to emphasise that I couldn’t care less about Sutton’s qualifications. It is what he does that matters, and that’s the real issue – but I’ll talk about that separately.
Sweden’s health and mental wellbeing has been managed by one of the world’s foremost epidemiologists. Victoria’s by a GP who believes that a sledgehammer is the best tool to kill a swarm of mosquitoes.
Not everyone might use FB, so sharing the contents of my associated link:
(by André Rodrigues)
I don’t mind Prof. Brett Sutton, Chief Health Officer. I don’t envy his current role but he’s done a lot of good work in his career, particularly in vulnerable populations. He’s got a decent amount of medical experience and expertise, and sound knowledge of communicable diseases (viruses and stuff), he’s even published on Gonorrhoea (seriously).
Most of us are aware that Prof. Brett Sutton is a General Practitioner, so he’s generally qualified to have an educated opinion on health related matters. Most of us are also aware he currently has God-like powers to impose and lift restrictions upon Victorian lives as he and his Deputy CHO see fit, in order to “suppress” (but let’s be honest “eliminate”) the dangerous virus because “to stay at low numbers you have to get to low numbers”. That’s all well and good (it’s not really but for the sake of what I am focusing on, let’s pretend it is…) but is Prof. Brett Sutton qualified to be in his role, assuming such unprecedented authority? My opinion, is a simple no. Here’s why:
Most of us are not aware that the esteemed Prof. Brett Sutton is a Public Health Masters graduate from James Cook University (#462 in QS Rankings). Brett Sutton does not have a PhD. For an academic or clinician with “an international reputation” in his field, Prof. Sutton has a relatively poor and frankly noncompetitive track record in academic circles. In the last 5 years for example, he has been the first author on only 3 research papers (one of each in the fields of Climate Change, Palliative Care and Gonorrhoea).
It is interesting that in March 2020, just prior to Lockdown 1.0, Dr. Brett Sutton was handed an Adjunct Clinical Professor appointment with the Dept. of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, by the Vice-Chancellor of Monash University, a Level E appointment (that can only be endorsed by the VC). Level E is the highest level that can be obtained; typically reserved for appointees who have “established an international reputation in the area”. Evidently, Prof. Sutton met eligibility criteria for a Level E academic appointment, without writing more than 1 research paper within the same field of research. His profile is suspiciously scarce of any details (i.e. empty).
Good timing wasn’t it. I mean, its comforting to get health advice from a Professor during a pandemic, he must know and understand things we don’t. I mean it’s not like I have a PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health…oh wait, Monash did give me one of those… where’s yours Prof. Sutton?
On a humorous note (but also an alarming one), if Prof. Brett Sutton submitted a job application for my current position, he would not meet the eligibility criteria for an interview (he would get one of those automated emails saying thank you but we had too many applications blah blah ). If Prof. Brett Sutton submitted an NHMRC, ARC or any other Federal or State level grant application as a Chief Investigator, he would not meet the eligibility criteria.
His eyes are kind of dreamy though, I’ll give him that.