The State Government’s surprise announcement that it will privatise Shellharbour Hospital just confirms that it never had any plans to implement its 2015 election promise.

This afternoon in Question Time the Minister for Health Jillian Skinner MP in answer to a question from Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP made the announcement of a so-called ‘private-public partnership’ for the hospital’s redevelopment.

The Minister was unable to provide any concrete details of the new proposal, however.

The Government announced during the state election that it would fund the $251 million upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital.

In Question Time the Minister only mentioned $200 million as part of this undetailed proposal.

What’s happened to the other $51 million promised?

The Government has spent six long years “planning” this upgrade.

Today, the Minister has dropped an un-explained, un-detailed, un-costed new proposal, which simply privatises Shellharbour Hospital.

The Liberals have embarked upon this privatisation of hospitals before and it failed miserably.

Port Macquarie Hospital was built and managed under a public-private partnership in the early 1990s under Nick Greiner – the then NSW Carr Government had to buy it back because as the NSW Auditor-General concluded:

Ideology, resulting in the dominance of accounting practices at the strategic levels, and conflicting goals among the three players…led to the ultimate failure of the Port Macquarie experiment.

The Government is making a big mistake re-living the failed privatisation experiment of two decades ago.

15 September 2016