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Healthy alliance

OPPORTUNITIES: Member for Goulburn Pru Goward welcomed the announcement by the State Government to re-develop Goulburn Hospital though a public-private partnership. GOULBURN MP Pru Goward says a public-private partnership for the Base Hospital couldopen “great opportunities” for the city as a regional health hub.
Nanjing Night Net

The State Government announced on Thursdayit would call expressions of interest in private partnerships for Goulburn, Maitland, Wyong and Shellharbour Hospitals.

Responding to claims that it would create a “two-tiered” health system, Ms Goward said it would remain a public hospital, regardless of who built it.

“If the private partner also wants to build a private ward that will be up to them,” she said.

“They are being asked to build a public hospital where everybody is treated for free and receives the same standard of care.”

She said if a suitable private partner did not emergein the Expressions of Interest (EOI) process, then a public hospital would still be built.

“It might not be privatised,” she said.

“This is an EOI and if nobody comes forward with a partnership proposal that suits then we would not go forward with it,”she said.

“If the EOI is successful we will still put our $120m inand expect the partner to put the rest in and build it.

“The $120m will give us the basic requirements of a modern hospital – new operating theatres, new wards and new emergency department. The upgrade will enable all of this to be built and allow a better integrated hospital to emerge.

“It will also enable private providers to come forward with other health services they could incorporate into the hospital, for example,more renal services, or better oncology or palliative care services.”

Ms Goward responded to union claims that health staff would be worse off under the proposal, sayingthenew hospital and Goulburn’s ageing populationwould create more jobs, not less in the health sector.

“Health Minister Jillian Skinner has guaranteed permanent staff a job in the new hospital fortwo-years.I think that is pretty good,” she said.

“You also always need to have casual staff in a hospital. To provide a 24/7 service you need casual staff. No hospital could operate without them.

“I see this as an exciting opportunity. A lot of people currently travel to Canberra or Bowral for treatment.It would be good for us to keep those patients in Goulburn.”

The EOIs close on October 14. More reports P3

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


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