Maitland Hospital Privatisation

21-Jul-2017
     

 



On Monday 17 July 2017, ASMOF attended a rally outside Maitland Hospital to push back against the Government’s decision to privatise the Hospital. While the government has scrapped the initial public private partnership proposal, the government has opted to seek a not-for-profit organisation to build and run the new facility.

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchinson, referring to the Governments’ surplus announcement, said that it was time that their “rivers of gold” made it to Maitland.

“It doesn’t make sense we don’t get a public hospital. The government says the rivers of gold are flowing – why aren’t they coming up here?”

“We are not a charity, we deserve the same level of support as every other community in the state.“

We’ve been fighting this for six years. We won’t be stopping now,” she said.

ASMOF Industrial Officer Damien Lee said the quality of training that young doctors receive could be impacted if the new facility was operated by a not-for-profit group.

“If this goes ahead, there’ll be no guarantees over training and supervision of our junior doctors,” Mr Lee said.

He added that any cuts to training for doctors could flow on to poor service for patients.

“Patient care is a concern, if doctors aren’t getting the best training then the impacts are going to be felt elsewhere,” he said.

Mr Lee’s views were echoed by Cindy Paull of the Health Services Union.

Ms Paull noted that the pay rates and leave entitlements were major concerns of staff facing the prospect of not-for-profit management.

In response, Chief Executive of HNELHD, Michael DiRienzo issued a statement, noting:

“The new Maitland Hospital operator will also be required to maximise employment opportunities for all permanent NSW Health staff currently working at Maitland Hospital”.

“Employees who migrate to the new Maitland hospital will have the additional security of a two-year employment guarantee. This means that, during their first two years working at the new hospital, the award terms and conditions which apply to an employee cannot be changed without the employee's agreement. Their employment cannot be terminated except for very limited reasons such as misconduct”.

“Any permanent staff who do not transfer to the new Maitland hospital will be redeployed within NSW Health wherever possible”.

However, ASMOF’s President, Dr Tony Sara, already identified, “The proposal appears to be nothing like Newcastle’s Calvary Mater Hospital or Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital.

“Hospitals like St Vincent’s are subject to agreements that employees receive the same rates and conditions as staff of the NSW Health Service.

“The doctors, nurses and other health professionals at Maitland will have no such guarantee.”

The Doctors’ Union will continue to campaign for a properly funded public Hospital in Maitland which will promote and protect the conditions of our members and which will ensure that our junior doctors are properly trained.

If you would like to get involved in any way, please contact Industrial Officer Damien Lee via damienl@asmof.org.au, or alternatively call the ASMOF Office on 9212 6900.