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

Pre-Caucus Audio:
David Cunliffe And
The Future Of The
Labour Party

David Cunliffe met with the press today after Saturday’s disappointing election result for The Labour Party.

“We are all deeply concerned by the result of our party vote. I want to be clear that I, as leader, am responsible for that result” Cunliffe said. Although he called the results “deeply disappointing” Cunliffe said “the voters are always right”.

He felt that Labour needed to make improvements and take action: “We don’t need months to get feedback from members of the public, we've had a lot over the past 48 hours”. More>>

Update: After a seven hour caucus meeting David Cunliffe has announced Chris Hipkins and Carmel Sepuloni as new party whips and said the Labour council will hold an independent review into the election result. He did not comment on any leadership vote.

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Very Bad Year

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left... More>>

ALSO:

General Election NZ: National Win

Election Night: With almost all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose. Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party. More>>

ALSO:

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news