On Sunday the 23rd of October hundreds of locals rallied in Maitland Park to save the Maitland Public Hospital from the clutches of the state Liberal/National government's push to privatise our state.

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey said the rally would send a clear message to the Baird Government to keep Maitland Hospital run and operated for the community rather than for corporate profits. 

“The people of the Hunter Valley know that health services are too important to be sold to the private sector,” Mr Morey said.

“Privatising hospitals isn’t about delivering better care, it’s about delivering bigger profits for the Government’s mates from the top end of town. 

“Already over 24,000 people have joined the Keep Our Hospitals Public Facebook page, so there is enormous community opposition to sell-off of our public hospitals.” 

Health Services Union (HSU) NSW Secretary Gerard Hayes said unions would mount an aggressive campaign to ensure voters in Maitland are aware of the corrosive impact of privatisation on patient care.

“Hospitals that are run for profit have a clear incentive to take shortcuts on staffing, cleanliness and hygiene,” Mr Hayes said. 

"We will not stand idly by and allow the Liberals to undermine the operation of this important community asset.”

NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) Secretary Brett Holmes said private operators will be looking to turn a profit for its shareholders off a system that is already struggling. 

“This will come at the cost of sacrificing staff, forcing staff to cut corners and ultimately compromising safe patient care,” Mr Holmes said. 

“No large private hospital operator has been prepared to agree to nurse to patient ratios anywhere in NSW. Without these ratios, patient safety is dependent upon budget, and now profit, to determine staffing levels.” 

Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation (ASMOF NSW) Executive Director Andrew Holland said the privatisation of regional hospitals like Maitland would have an impact on both quality of patient care and on the training of Junior Medical Officers.

“Medical professionals are very concerned about the Americanisation of our health, and the impact this will have on both the quality of care at regional hospitals, and the quality of training for the next generation of NSW doctors,” Dr Sara said.

Check out the NBN News report here!

And check out the article on the Hunter Independent website