Danger of privatising public hospital

I READ Andrew Davis’ letter (Sunraysia Daily, Monday, November 19) with much interest.
Nanjing Night Net

Here, I thought, is someone with an involvement and bipartisan view of public/private management of hospitals.

Sadly on further investigation, I was to be again disillusioned.

The unfortunate history of the Modbury Public Hospital in South Australia is in my opinion no reason to roundly support the privatisation of a public hospital.

A review reveals that Modbury Hospital was privatised in 1995 under certain conditions.

Even though these conditions were never met, the Coalition government of the day continued with the contract.

This was despite authenticated claims from reputable bodies that corporations would secure contracts by underbidding, with the knowledge they could force up government payments by crying poor when authorities were in no position to refuse because of political embarrassment.

After gouging more money from the government by crying poor, the company went on a buying spree in the private sector.

The company then said in 2002 they would have to walk away if they were not granted further funding. In 2005, Dane Huxley told the Victorian Government the same thing even though it was pointed out that they were paid for more procedures than they actually performed.

Eventually after much heartbreak on the community’s part and expenditure on the taxpayers part, the South Australian Government paid out in excess of $17 million to regain the Modbury Hospital to rid themselves of a disastrous experiment in ideology.

Similar results were seen in Victoria and NSW.

Another interesting or sad sideline in the Modbury saga is that the staff had to protest to get their underpaid wages due to below award payments and non-payment of overtime.

Considering the above, one can only wonder what, why or who inspired Andrew to write such a letter.

Steve Tittensor,


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