• Public hospital privatisation a sad day for NSW
  • An act of deep treachery against working people in regional NSW
  • Movement mobilizes to fight sustained state-wide campaign 

The NSW union movement will unite to fight a sustained campaign against the Baird Government’s plan to privatise five regional NSW hospitals in Maitland, Wyong, Goulburn, Shellharbour, and Bowral.

The Baird Government announced its sell-off intention late on Thursday, it was not foreshadowed at the State election, and has not been the subject of a community debate. 

Unions NSW Secretary, Mark Morey, said working people in regional NSW were sick of being used for political experiments by the Baird Government.

"Just as Mike Baird decided to ban an entire industry with no warning, he has now decided to privatise five regional hospitals. This is the start of the Americanisation of our health system with more losers than winners. 

"This move is pure cost-cutting and will degrade the quality and reliability of hospital care in these regions. A new private operator has to find a profit, and ultimately it will be found at the expense of patients. If it's the choice between treating a private patient or one on Medicare we all know who misses out.

HSU NSW Secretary, Gerard Hayes, said the plan will be met with fierce opposition from the membership of the Health Services Union.

"A hospital is not the place to cut corners on hygiene, security or proper administration. The stakes are simply too high. We know from first-hand experience that patient care will suffer if our members are placed under tight pressure to meet the needs of shareholders, rather than regional communities.”

General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, said the privatisation would directly affect staff, who may not be offered positions at the new hospitals and would have little choice of alternatives in the areas. Patients are also at risk of a reduction in safe patient care.

“This is a sad day for the public hospital system of NSW and confirms that the Baird Government has an agenda to privatise more public hospitals throughout the state.”

The NSW trade union movement will mobilise against this offensive, short-sighted decision by supporting members and educating the community about what this means for the future of public health services in NSW.

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