Investment in regional hospitals should not be political: union

Shellharbour Hospital is set to be redeveloped under a public-private partnership. Picture: Adam McLean
Shellharbour Hospital is set to be redeveloped under a public-private partnership. Picture: Adam McLean

This week’s announcement of a new ‘’world class’’ hospital for Tweed Heads has angered those opposing the part-privatisation of Shellharbour Hospital.

The NSW Government announced on Tuesday that $534 million had been allocated for the Tweed hospital in next week’s state budget.

Health Services Union NSW secretary Gerard Hayes said it showed the government was ‘’favouring marginal seats, while privatising hospitals where it has no political support’’. 

‘’Why is the Tweed getting massive investment in its public hospital, while Shellharbour is staring down the barrel of privatisation?’’ he said.

‘’The government’s funding priorities are driven by low rent politicking rather than community need.

‘’As soon as you introduce a private operator into a public hospital they need to find a profit. And that comes at the expense of patient care.

“The NSW Government needs to explain why people in Shellharbour should face privatisation while the Tweed enjoys half a billion dollars in new public hospital funding.’’

The government has received an undisclosed number of expressions of interest from non-government operators to redevelop Shellharbour’s ageing hospital under a public-private partnership.

However Mr Hazzard has indicated he will not be rushed into a decision and has met with stakeholders, including Illawarra doctors and nurses.