Hospitals – put people before profit
The Liberal–National Coalition and Labor approach the 23 March election with public hospital policies as different as night and day.
The Liberal-National Coalition claims its “partnerships” with private operators will deliver a more “efficient” health system.
It tried to sell five NSW public hospitals – Wyong, Goulburn, Shellharbour, Bowral and Maitland – but fierce public opposition forced it to backtrack.
In northern Sydney, residents lost two public hospitals – Manly and Mona Vale – in return for the Healthscope-operated Northern Beaches Hospital.
As the media widely reported, its opening weeks were a shambles.
NSWNMA members have campaigned strongly against privatisation in their communities. They have made it clear they did not want their local public hospital turned into a profit-making operation.
Labor and the NSW Greens strongly oppose hospital privatisation.
Labor leader Michael Daley has promised: “Under Labor, the sell-offs will stop. There will be no privatisation of NSW hospitals, water, electricity or public transport services.”
Since elected in 2011 the Liberal–National government has sold off electricity services, bus services, ports, housing, land and property information, recreation facilities, museums and court operations – to name a few.
In health care, privatisation has even extended to residential disability services and palliative care. Ignoring the pleas of staff and families the government flogged off services provided to some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens.
On the Northern Beaches fiasco, NSWNMA General Secretary Brett Holmes wrote:
“The privatisation of the Northern Beaches Hospital was undertaken without any serious public debate. The tendering process was shrouded in secrecy. The public was lied to about what it would cost. Now the hospital has opened in a state of chaos due to completely inadequate planning and preparation.
“This is largely due to a failure to engage with staff and a management that lacks experience in running public hospitals. It was arrogant to think that private corporations would do a better job of running a public hospital.
“The government responsible for this debacle deserves to be made accountable.”
The Liberal-National Coalition tried to sell five regional NSW public hospitals but fierce opposition by nurses, midwives and their local communities forced it to backtrack.
Where the parties stand on PRIVATISATION
- Oppose Public–Private Partnerships in provision of public hospital services.
- Support keeping all current and future public hospital developments and land in public ownership.
Labor leader Michael Daley says: “Under Labor, the sell-offs will stop. There will be no privatisation of NSW hospitals, water, electricity or public transport services.”
Privatised the Northern Beaches Hospital and tried to sell six regional public hospitals.
Why we oppose the Liberal–National Coalition’s hospital privatisation
- Private operators have a duty to reward their shareholders by making a profit on their investment.
- They can only do that through cuts to staffing and resources.
- Privatisation of public health care has never delivered better services.
- Privatisation will starve our public hospitals when nurses and the public want to see them grow.