IT’S ON – Parliament Debate over Privatising Shellharbour Hospital



Yesterday, representatives from ASMOF, NSWNMA and HSU met with Anna Watson MP for Shellharbour, Shadow NSW Health Minister Walt Secord, Ryan Park MP, and Paul Scully MP to hand over the outstanding 12,000 signatures from the community opposing the proposed privatisation of Shellharbour Hospital.

The sheer number of signatures means the Speaker will announce the petition on the next sitting day, Tuesday, 30 May 2017, and it will be discussed by the House in an upcoming sitting week.

It represents a firm commitment from the community and health professionals in the Illawarra Shoalhaven area in their opposition of the Government’s decision to pursue profits over patients.

As you may be aware, ASMOF, in conjunction with the other unions, have organised a community forum on 5 June 2017, 6:30pm at The Shellharbour Club to discuss the privatisation of Shellharbour in detail.

There will be an robust line up of key speakers, including:
  1. Shadow NSW Health Minister, Walt Secord
  2. Anna Watson MP for Shellharbour
  3. Gareth Ward, Member for Kiama and Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast representing the NSW Health Minister
  4. Michael Whaites, Sub-Regional Secretary for Oceania, Public Services International
  5. Kimberly Pratt, WIN News (MC)
As well as representatives from South Coast Labor Council, and the health unions. Our Doctors will be discussing the impact privatisation will have on palliative care and rehabilitation.

In the most recent forum in Maitland, ASMOF Executive Director Andrew Holland spoke about the concerns raised by our members, and ASMOF’s experience with privatisation of Northern Beaches Hospital, noting the likelihood of a reduction in work conditions, resources and entitlements, and the impact privatisation will have on the training of our junior doctors.

Often, private hospitals utilise contract-based models for doctors, and there is no contractual obligation for consultants to provide training or supervision to junior doctors.

“The major teaching hospitals are where the junior doctors are trained – where our senior members take junior doctors under their wing, supervise them and train them to become the future staff specialists in our public and private system,” he said.
“Our members have a real concern that under a new model... that the training of [junior] doctors will be completely undermined”, which puts “the future for our doctors and the doctors that do such a wonderful job”, at risk.

We are inviting all our members to attend this important forum about the future of our health services in ISLHD.
We are proud of the community, and our Doctors, for taking a stand and speaking up to protect the safe patient care in our world class public health system.

ASMOF and our Doctors will continue to take the fight to the NSW Government, and we look forward to your continued support in defending our great public health system.

If you would like to speak up and get involved in a similar way, please email, or call the ASMOF Office on 9212 6900.