Queensland Nurses Union on privatisation

The Queensland Nurses Union also hosted a public forum with Donna Smith talking about the perils of privatisation.

From the QNU website:

Ms Smith’s warning to Australians comes as federal Opposition health spokesperson, Peter Dutton, continues to mislead the community about the federal Coalition’s real intentions for public hospitals.

For example, on Sydney 2UE’s Paul Murray program last week (August 7) Mr Dutton continued the misleading Coalition spin of trying to separate the buildings from the hospital “business” when he said “I can rule it out categorically that we do not support the sale of these assets, but we do want to see the most efficient delivery of the services available”. In April this year Mr Dutton told the Financial Review newspaper that a federal Coalition government would “work” with State governments to have more private operators run public hospitals.

QNU secretary, Beth Mohle, said Donna’s visit to Australia is timely, as there is no doubt Coalition State governments, including in Queensland, are lining up our public hospitals for privatisation. “Spin words like contestability and outsourcing don’t fool anyone. Also, the idea that it is only new hospitals being privatised doesn’t fool anyone either. We all know how this works. You start off slowly to get the idea established, and once they have a few hospitals privatised they then start running arguments about how it is now silly to keep all the rest in government hands. We’ve seen it all before, in other privatisation experiments.

“Privatisation is also a disaster for nurses and midwives and other health workers. It is about making savings at the expense of fair pay and proper, safe staffing levels and arrangements. Why should nurses and midwives take pay and job cuts just to line the bank accounts of private companies and NGOs? How do patients benefit from that?

“All the evidence indicates public hospital privatisation is bad for patients and their families and bad for nurses and midwives and other healthcare staff.

“That’s why the people of Queensland and Australia must stop public hospital privatisation in its tracks. Our parents and grandparents worked hard, against powerful private and medical vested interests, to build us a good-quality, free public hospital system and an affordable overall health system. Will we leave our children and grandchildren the same or will we leave them a costly privatised mess?” Ms Mohle said.

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