Nurses step up calls for new Northern Beaches Hospital to stay public

Local members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) are stepping up their campaign against the privatisation of the new Northern Beaches Hospital at Frenchs Forest.

The nurses and midwives, together with representatives of other local community groups, will rally near the proposed hospital site tomorrow morning, signalling their opposition to the NSW Government’s plan to privately operate the new facility.

General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, said many members on the Northern Beaches were frustrated by the level of contempt the Premier and local MPs had shown them over the issue.

“Our members are passionate about sustaining public healthcare into the future,” Mr Holmes said.

“There is a genuine need for public health services to be provided on the Northern Beaches – local nurses and midwives are disappointed Premier Mike Baird has completely ignored their concerns, along with the concerns of community groups and residents.

“The issues we’ve raised are being brushed aside, while this Coalition government forges ahead with its privatisation plans, which will take us further down the path of an American-style health system.”

NSWNMA Councillor, Lyn Hopper, of the Manly Hospital Branch, said many people were outraged the government had chosen to push ahead with a privatisation model despite the opposition from locals.

“The for-profit sector has a responsibility to make money for their shareholders, how is the government going to ensure public health services are properly funded under this public-private model?” Ms Hopper said.

Fiona Deegan, Vice President of the Mona Vale Hospital Branch, said despite a string of hospital privatisations failing across the country, the Premier appeared adamant on ignoring the facts.

“There’s a great deal of evidence supporting our concern that privately-operated public hospital models don’t work – Port Macquarie and Mildura are some of the examples. It’s not too late to reverse this and keep the new Northern Beaches hospital in public hands,” said Ms Deegan.

Mr Holmes said members would rally near the proposed new hospital site from 7am tomorrow and send a message directly to the Premier.

The NSWNMA is also increasing its presence in the community, with the opening of a campaign headquarters in Condamine Street at Manly Vale. Members are utilising the shop front to raise awareness about the privately-operated new hospital, as well as their fear the model will be rolled out across the state.

NB: Nurses, midwives and other community groups will gather on the corner of Warringah Road and Wakehurst Parkway (Manly side), at Frenchs Forest from 7am TOMORROW, Wednesday 23 July, to send their messages to the Premier.

The NSWNMA will also launch is campaign headquarters at 335 Condamine Street, Manly Vale from 7pm TOMORROW, Wednesday 23 July. Media is welcome to attend. 

Download this media release: Nurses step up calls for new Northern Beaches Hospital to stay public

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