Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


West Coast hospitals saga sounds another warning

West Coast hospitals saga sounds another warning

The long saga surrounding the re-building of Greymouth Hospital, now at its fourteenth proposal, together with budget slashing for Westport facilities, sounds another warning to the New Zealand people as to where government intends the public health system to go, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman, David Tranter.

Tony Ryall's instruction to DHBs that they consider PPP (public/private partnership) funding flies in the face of endless cost overruns and mismanagement in hospitals and other services overseas when the private sector has muscled in on what should be government-funded facilities controlled by the appropriate government departments.

As a current example of PPP chaos the Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth (Western Australia) where private contractor Serco is heavily involved was supposed to open last month but the government have had to delay the opening to March next year. Meanwhile Serco is being paid $118 million to provide, in their own words, 150 "operational staff", 80 "pre-operational project team" staff and "others" to provide a "welcoming service" - without a single patient until March next year. The latest development has seen the government stripping Serco of the majority of patient administration and records management and handing this to the health department in order, "to ensure that the quality of patient care is maximised" - according to the Western Australia health minister Kim Hames.

The obvious question is surely - why was this management ever handed to a private, for-profit, business in the first place? Mr. Tranter said. But the nonsense doesn't end there. According to the Western Australia PerthNow News (10 April) regarding the Fiona Stanley Hospital; "The committee also found the six-month delay of the hospital as well as ICT issues had cost taxpayers about $330 million". This includes an extra $52.7 million to Serco.

PPP partnerships in the UK and elsewhere have produced similar outcomes to what is happening in Australia. In New Zealand CTU economist Bill Rosenberg recently stated regarding the Waitemata DHB's new surgical centre; " ..... private contractors could be paid over $7,000 per day for the easiest surgery done in public hospitals is a wasteful use of our limited health budget. This is a form of the Public-Private Partnerships which in the U.K. and elsewhere have led to massive waste of public funds and which the U.K. government now deeply regrets.”

New Zealanders need to ask the hard questions of their M.P.s regarding the government's PPP funding agenda. With Tony Ryall on record saying the West Coast District Health Board would seek "private sector partners" to build a Westport health facility and local National M.P. Chris Auchinvole talking up Ngai Tahu's publicly declared interest in building Greymouth Hospital, the government must come clean and tell the West Coast public whether their precious health funds are going to be siphoned off on a long-term basis by private sector involvement in Greymouth and/or Westport, Mr. Tranter said.

Once again the Democrats for Social Credit point to the obvious alternative to prevent the slide into privatisation-by-stealth of the public health system which is to fund these projects at minimal (loan management only) cost through the Reserve Bank, Mr. Tranter said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

The Kids: OECD Report Shows Huge Impact Of Poverty On Education

A new report from the OECD has again highlighted the negative effects of poverty, showing that disadvantaged children in New Zealand are more than six times more likely to underachieve in maths than children from wealthier homes. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific: NZ Pledges $500,000 To Help Address Zika

“With the Zika virus now confirmed in a number of Pacific countries, New Zealand is committed to helping limit the impact and spread of the virus in the region,” says Mr McCully. “New Zealand will provide $250,000 as a contribution to the WHO to implement the Pacific Zika Action Plan, and a further $250,000 to enable countries in the region to respond rapidly if required." More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Police Commissioner 'Doesn’t Get Force Needs'

The Police Commissioner has let down the public and his own force by insisting the police have what they need despite it taking a year to solve a burglary and overwhelming number of officers saying they are under-resourced, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Pressure To Expand Our Role In Iraq

Foreign news services are being more forthcoming about what the “next 12 months” will entail – essentially, the defence ministers will be under US pressure to increase their “training” role preparatory to an assault on the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Restarts: Prime Minister’s Statement

Our policy agenda and legislative programme will reflect the Government’s four priorities: • to responsibly manage the Government’s finances • to build a more competitive and productive economy • to deliver better public services to New Zealanders, an • to support the rebuilding of Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

ALSO:

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news