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Issue #1570      24 October 2012

Premier plays with words

WA Premier Barnett claimed that the new children’s hospital would remain as a public hospital, just like Fiona Stanley Hospital and Midland Health Campus.

But union United Voice says the reality is that Premier Barnett has already privatised services at Fiona Stanley Hospital and the Midland Health Campus. Premier Barnett will privatise services at the new Children’s hospital and Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, said United Voice WA assistant secretary Carolyn Smith.

“They will be run privately. It is in an organisation’s interest to make that worthwhile for them, so they cut services, staff numbers, or staff pay in order to create a profit for themselves. That profit comes from taxpayer money. It’s money that isn’t going into healthcare,” said Ms Smith.

“He can play with his words all he wants, but facts are facts. These hospitals will not be in public hands under a Barnett government.”

She said that the Barnett government has an ideological obsession with contracting out essential health services to private providers.

“Privatisation is a costly process. We’re talking about $8 billion worth of private contracts for essential health services at the Fiona Stanley Hospital and Midland Health Campus alone.”

Ms Smith said the Barnett government awarded Serco Australia the contract for 28 services at Fiona Stanley Hospital and that the way the contract was handled and awarded was diabolical.

“Fiona Stanley Hospital will be our premier teaching hospital and the Health Minister has overseen a process which is seriously questionable, and breached his own government’s policies and procedures.

“The new Midland hospital will be run by St John of God. The new hospital will not provide essential women’s health services. This is outrageous.

“United Voice welcomes a response from Premier Barnett assuring the public that both the new children’s hospital and Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre will be fully public hospitals and remain in public hands.”  

Next article – US Forces in Australia: 2012

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