Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, says the Newman Government is running its Hospital and Health Services at a financial surplus to make it easier to sell off services to private operators.
“The surplus of almost $5.4 million reported by the Cairns and Hinterland HHS fits with the Newman Government’s plans to Americanise our public hospital system by selling off as many services as it can to private providers,” Mr Pitt said.
“Staff of the Cairns and Hinterland HHS are rightly concerned about their jobs, given the government’s track record of mass sackings, and have rightly suggested the surplus could have been used to maintain frontline jobs.
“No service is off limits to being sold and the first to go will be pharmacy, radiology, and pathology. The LNP will also be looking at selling off mainstream clinical services.
“The top priority for private operators will be to make a profit and they will be putting profits before patients.
“The Cairns and Hinterland HHS’s surplus proves to private providers that there is money to be made out of other people’s illnesses and medical complaints as long as services and jobs continue to be cut or scaled back.
“The surplus also proves just how hollow the Minister for Health’s claims were about so-called federal government ‘cuts’ to health funding.
“For months leading up to the federal election Lawrence Springborg was claiming funding cuts by the then Labor Government in Canberra would devastate all Hospital and Health Services across the state.
“Now we see most of them reporting healthy surpluses. It proves the Minister was playing politics all along and was deliberately misleading Queenslanders.”
Mr Pitt said the Americanised profit-driven model of health care was the Newman Government’s preferred way of delivering services.
“The Newman Government’s mantra is to be ‘an enabler, not a doer’ which means it will sell off as many hospital and health services as possible and essentially wash its hands of its responsibilities by leaving it all up to private providers,” he said.