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Labor condemns WA hospitals plan

Delegates at the ALP national conference have rejected WA plans to privatise elements of the public hospital system.

Federal Labor has declared war on the WA Liberal government's privatisation of public hospitals.

At the ALP national conference in Sydney on the weekend, the party passed a motion condemning the Barnett government in WA for privatising elements of the public hospital system.

WA opposition leader Eric Ripper told delegates that public health should be delivered by public sector workers.

"We want those workers to work to a standard, not a profit," Ripper said.

"We want the public hospital system to be directly accountable to the people."
Ripper said the issue was a big point of difference between the major parties in WA. He said Serco had won a 20-year, $4 billion contract for the Fiona Stanley Hospital at Murdoch.

Ripper vowed to undo the Barnett government's work if Labor wins office at the next election.

On November 23, WA Labor introduced legislation to ban the privatisation of hospital services at the proposed Midland Health Campus.

Shadow Health Minister Roger Cook told a public meeting in the bill would seek to reverse the government’s decision to sell the management and operation of the hospital to Ramsay Health or St John of God.

"Communities in these areas do not want a private contractor operating their hospital. They want a public hospital run by the public and for the public, not services on the cheap."

Cook said the Barnett Government had no evidence the privatisation of the Midland Health Campus was in the interests of patient health.

"In Parliament this week, Health Minister Kim Hames refused to table the public-private comparator to allow Western Australians to make up their own minds on the Barnett Government's decision," Cook said.

With AAP

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