Illawarra State Labor MPs Anna Watson, Paul Scully and Ryan Park have today written to Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast Gareth Ward requesting he arrange a meeting for 48 senior Illawarra clinicians and the Health Services Union (HSU) with the new Minister for Health about the proposed privatisation of Shellharbour Hospital.

The MPs initiative follows a report in the Illawarra Mercury today indicating that the Minister has agreed to meet representatives of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association to discuss their concerns.

It also follows 48 senior Illawarra clinicians raising serious concerns with the Government’s privatisation agenda, also published in today’s Illawarra Mercury.

Attached is the joint letter to Mr Ward.

Comments attributable to Anna Watson MP:

“We are obviously pleased that the Minister has agreed to meet with the nurse and midwives to discuss their specific concerns about the Government’s privatisation agenda for Shellharbour Hospital.

“But the Minister should be meeting with other stakeholders and we are requesting Gareth Ward follows through with that.”

Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:

“I want the Minister to meet with the 48 senior Illawarra clinicians who also know first-hand that the privatisation agenda the Government has for our local hospital services will place more pressure on Wollongong Hospital and gut services at Port Kembla Hospital.

“The Minister should also be meeting with the HSU and community representatives to understand just how strongly and united the opposition to the privatisation agenda is.”

Comments attributable to Ryan Park MP:

“The former Minister just lobbed this privatisation agenda on the table and refused to engage with the community about it.

“Gareth Ward initially supported the previous Minister’s heavy-handed approach and now seems to be changing tack, but the new Minister needs to meet with the full range of stakeholders.”


3 February 2017