Politics in the Pub Brings Liberal Party Support


On Tuesday 17 October, ASMOF and the other Health Unions organised a Politics in the Pub session with locals in Kiama to discuss the privatisation of Shellharbour and Port Kembla Hospitals.

Locals packed out the pub to hear from Doctors, Nurses, Allied health, and their respective union officials. From ASMOF, Senior Staff Specialist and Divisional Director of Rehabilitation, Dr Geoff Murray and Industrial Officer Damien Lee spoke about the impacts privatisation will have on the Doctors, and the patients that require their care.

We note it was the first event ASMOF has held in Kiama, and we are ecstatic with the result. Immediately after the event, Liberal MP Gareth Ward called to announce his support for the campaign and for Shellharbour Hospital to remain public.

ASMOF welcomes Mr Wards support, but notes he needs to turn his words into action and keep Shellharbour and Port Kembla Hospitals Public.

We also note the significant concern raised by the community in Kiama. In particular, this question put forward from the community:

“Where will those doctors and nurses go for ongoing support and training if Shellharbour and Port Kembla are closed?”

 Dr Murray responded, noting, that they won’t have anywhere to go if those hospitals are privatised.

“Delivering quality health… they don’t care. It’s bottom line, not the quality of health that we deliver to patients.”, he said.

 Mr Lee went further, noting:

“We have one of the best health care systems in the world. That is due to the world class training our junior doctors receive from our Staff Specialists. In addition, it is due to the conditions and entitlements that promote ongoing training and development of our senior medical officers”.

 “Across the state we are seeing private operators and Not-For-Profit organisations move to cut those conditions and entitlements. We have seen those organisations attempt to remove the Training, Education and Study Leave awarded to our Doctors. This leave is vital for our members to maintain their professional development and the high level of care that the patients of this community receives.”

The Doctors’ Union will continue to campaign for a properly funded public Hospital in Shellharbour and Port Kembla, which will promote and protect the conditions of our members, ensure that our junior doctors are properly trained, and continues to provide safe patient care.

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

VIDEO: Kiama have their say about the privatisation of Shellharbour and Port Kembla hospitals