Goulburn Hospital privatisation proposal will be painful

Brace yourself for a major backlash against the proposed privatisation of the Goulburn Base Hospital redevelopment.

The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association has the knives at the ready and with good reason.

It’s no secret the State Government is scrounging for money in the wake of the failed Transgrid sale. But partial privatisation will come at a high cost to workload and job security. 

Health Minister Jillian Skinner cannot guarantee the latter.

”Current permanent staff who want to work for new hospitals will be offered a position, provided an equivalent position exists,” her Thursday statement read.

Little wonder the troops are nervous. Goulburn MP Pru Goward says a privatised facility will mean more staff, not less. But how does she know?

Surely this depends on the type of partnership proposed and the services provided. Ms Goward also assures us casual staff will be safe. There are no guarantees there either.

In privatised hospitals throughout NSW, nurse to patient ratios have gone out the window in the drive for profit. Cost rationalisation is economics 101 unless minimum requirements are mandated by the government.

If we are indeed to have a partially privatised facility, the government must give these undertakings upfront.

Otherwise it will have a very big fight on its hands.

The expression of interest call also begs scrutiny. Authorities are well down the track with planning but are calling for interest in development of the existing or a greenfield site. Go figure. 

SPYfest success

Once again the SPYfest organisers have pulled it off.

Congratulations to Wendy Antony, Julie Judd and a very hard working committee for a fantastic weekend.

The festival, with George Lazenby the star attraction, brought the community together and injected a dash of magic.

The street parade and activities in the park were buzzy, Lazenby generous with his time and praise of Goulburn, Saturday’s ball packed to the rafters and Sunday’s program at Victoria Park a great one for the family, despite the rain. We could go on. 

What started as an idea has turned into a stunning success. Long may it continue.

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