The NSW Government has axed its plan to privatise Shellharbour hospital, following a long and fierce community campaign with South Coast CPSA branches and members prominently involved.
The Minister for Health announced that they would be shelving plans to sell off the public hospital and would proceed with a Government led $251 million redevelopment, starting next year.
This decision falls into a long line of Government backflips on proposed hospital privatisations across NSW. The original hospital privatisation plans also included Wyong, Goulburn, and Bowral, which were all dropped after backlash from local communities and health workers.
The message to the NSW Government has hopefully been heard loud and clear. Every cent of public funding of hospitals should be spent only on the delivery of health care, rather than a portion of it being spent on creating a profit and what is left over being spent on inferior underfunded services.
President of CPSA’s Unanderra Branch, Eli Harris, who has been front and centre in the collaborative fight for Shellharbour hospital said: “We have done well, and it just goes to show that if people take a stand you can change things”. Eli and his fellow campaigners have now set their sights on saving Maitland public hospital.