Greens Health spokesperson, Dawn Walker has criticised the NSW Government for their small contribution towards a new Lower Hunter Hospital in today’s State Budget and failure to drop plans to privatise the new facility.
“Once again, the NSW Liberal-Nationals have shown that they don’t listen to communities by their failure to once-and-for-all drop plans to privatise a new Lower Hunter Hospital in the 2017-18 State Budget.
“The fact that they’ve only committed $5 million of funds towards building a new hospital at Maitland when the estimated total cost of the project is $450 million is pathetic and shows they haven’t worked out how they will fund this vital hospital.
“The Greens and the community want to see that both the construction and operations of a new Lower Hunter Hospital are fully publicly funded. There should also be a strong consideration of extending the present Maitland Hospital site, which is close to public transport and the centre of Maitland.
“The Government and Hunter New England Local Health District’s attempts to court the private sector to operate the new hospital Lower Hunter Hospital is misguided, expensive and likely to lead to worse patient outcomes.
“This Government’s addiction to privatisation is crippling our public health system and the residents of rapidly-growing Maitland will be the next community to feel the effects of the Liberal’s short-sighted investment decisions.
“It’s a great shame that the NSW Government didn’t use this budget to drop plans for the Lower Hunter Hospital to be run privately” said Greens MP, Dawn Walker.