Nurses to fight private hospital

THE Queensland Nurses Union will campaign with the Sunshine Coast community against any state government move to hand the delivery of public health service at the university hospital to a private company.

Nurses' union state secretary Beth Mole said the new Gold Coast hospital had been too advanced for the LNP

Government to introduce its "ideologically driven" agenda, leaving the Sunshine Coast University Hospital as the biggest exposure to privatisation.

She said the union had a strong record of opposing privatisation, was a staunch defender of the public health system and would work with the Coast community to fight any proposal.

Ms Mole said vague pre-election references by then shadow health minister; Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle, about "working more closely with the private sector" had been a warning of what was to come.

The union has just completed a three-day state council meeting, which included several Sunshine Coast members, and had held a planning meeting about the issue.

"We are extremely concerned,'' Ms Mole said.

"We have a number of state councillors from Nambour and will work closely with the local community to oppose it.

"We are not just an industrial body concerned with the professional rights of our members.

"We are also advocates for community services.''

Ms Mole said despite promises to the contrary the LNP government had cut the jobs of 400 nurses. From February 25 preventive health screenings for children in the metropolitan south of Brisbane would be cut.

"They are cutting community health services across the state,'' Mrs Mole said.

Topics:  health, privatisation, queensland nurses union, sunshine coast university hospital



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