Friday 29th November 2013
We wanted a new public hospital, not a private one
The proposal for a new Northern Beaches Hospital was welcome news to staff at both Manly and Mona Vale hospitals. However, the announcement by the Minister that a private organisation will build and operate it is not.
Privatisation is a lose-lose proposition
The privatisation of public health services has a history of failure and a track record of poor working conditions. The number of failed public-private hospital partnerships in Australia is alarmingly high — experts estimate this as being probably in excess of 50 percent.
The failed privatisation of Port Macquarie Hospital in 1994 led to the people of NSW effectively paying twice for the one hospital when the government had to take it back in 2005.
While we welcome the much-needed new hospital, it should be kept in public hands for the benefit of patients and the community.
Will you be worse off under a privatised hospital? The answer is YES.
At Annual Conference 2013, the Minister for Health assured members that the new private employer would offer employment to the existing staff on their current positions without interview for a period of five years with all award and salary provisions intact.
This is untrue.
Northern Sydney LHD has only guaranteed two years where members’ wages and conditions would remain “intact” upon transfer.
Put simply, the current LHD position undercuts previous arrangements in Health (eg. Schedule 3 AHOs, like St. Vincent’s Public Hospital), the federal legislative minim of 5 years under the Fair Work Act and the Minister’s public statements.
You’ll get a brand new hospital but there’s no guarantee for your pay and conditions after two years.
Management is keeping secrets
All of the precontractual and contractual arrangements between the LHD and the potential private operators are “commercial in confidence”. This means that important issues like whether ratios will be maintained, models of care or the requirement to treat public patients in the ED the same as private patients are all kept secret. Are you happy to rely on the word of the LHD as to the arrangements that they are making about your future with Ramsay, Healthscope or the Sydney Adventist?
Get active now!
Get involved in a community campaign to educate the community about the perils of privatisation.
We need to ask the community if they voted for a new public hospital, or a private hospital with some publicly funded beds and services and if so did they know what they were voting for?
We will have a branch meeting on Thursday, 12 December. Make sure you attend.
TIME: 6pm – 8.30pm
PLACE: South Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club
1200 Pittwater Rd, South Narrabeen (between Clarke and Mactier Sts)