HSUWA calls for independent review of privatised health services.

Thursday 14 Feb 2013

HSUWA has welcomed the Labor party’s pledge not to privatise any more hospitals in Western Australia and has called on the Barnett Government to do the same.

However, the union, which represents specialist health professionals, said both parties needed to go much further and called for an independent review of privatised health services.

Union Secretary, Dan Hill said the controversy surrounding the private operation of Peel Health Campus was justification for the review.

“Peel Health Campus is costing taxpayers in excess of $90million a year and Joondalup Health Campus over $246million,” Mr Hill said.

“The State Government is also paying in excess of $10million a year in the metro area and $12million in country areas for privatised health services such as X-ray, Pharmacy, Ultrasound, Physiotherapy and Cancer treatment that could otherwise be provided in house.”

Mr Hill said there was currently no guarantee that the public of Western Australia was receiving the highest quality care from these privatised services.

“We need a review of all existing privatised health services and contracts, and where it is found that they are not delivering to the same level as government provided services, they should be brought back in house,” he said.

Mr Hill said the Union was opposed to the privatisation agenda because the experience in WA and around the world showed that as private companies cut corners to deliver profits there were fewer, lower paid and overworked healthworkers resulting in reduced service levels. 

HSUWA believed direct State Government involvement in service delivery was the only way to ensure the highest possible quality services and direct accountability.

Mr Hill said the State Government was privatising services at Fiona Stanley Hospital and the Midland Health Campus and was unlikely to stop there.

He said the Labor party’s pledge not to privatise any more hospitals in WA was a necessary first step to ensure West Australians got the quality of services they deserved.

“The Barnett Government should make the same pledge to ensure profits aren’t put ahead of patient care,” he said.

“But the only way to truly do that would be to commit to a review.”


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