Perth hospitals at risk of privatisation

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More of Perth hospital services could be privatised from next year according to Premier Colin Barnett who refused to renew his commitment to keep out-sourcing of hospital support work at current levels. 

The letter from Mr Barnett was received by United Voice on the same day members rallied outside Parliament House against privatisation and 18 support workers from Fiona Stanley Hospital were made redundant.

It came after United Voice WA Secretary Carolyn Smith wrote to the Premier on October 17 to ask his government's position post August 2017 (when the current agreement expires). 

Ms Smith wrote "given there is an election in March 2017 and hospital privatisation will be an important issue for our members and to the WA public, I now write to see your governments position post August 2017".

In his response Mr Barnett said he would "honour" the life of the agreement, but he would not extend it. 

"While no contracting out was planned out would occur for hospital support workers during the life of the Agreement, I would not extend my commitment beyond the life of the Agreement," he wrote. 

You can read Mr Barnett's letter here and the United Voice letter here.

Ms Smith said with Mr Barnett and the Liberal’s privatisation agenda they don’t prioritise the delivery of secure jobs and quality healthcare in WA.

"We are incredibly disappointed the Barnett Government continues to spruik hospitals which have been privatised despite their disastrous track record," she said.

"They just have to look at the bungled management of Fiona Stanley Hospital and the new Midland Health Campus to know privatisation is not the answer.

"Mr Barnett has thousands of health workers to answer to and the broader Western Australian community, and he has let them down with his response."

The letter was received on the same day 18 Fiona Stanley Support workers were made redundant and has been received by members with anger. 

"The drive for profits associated from companies like Serco will lead to poorer services," Ms Smith said.

"Healthcare should be about the people and not the profits.

"The community deserves quality healthcare and accountability, and that only happens when it is overseen by a competent, committed State Government. 

"We certainly believe that a Barnett Liberal Government if elected in March 2017 will continue to sell off the State’s public health system to the detriment of the community."

See below for The Sunday Times coverage. 

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