23 July 2019
The ANMF (SA Branch) has today written to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing with regard to the announcement via The Advertiser today that the Department had struck agreement with a number of private hospitals and day centres for the provision of elective surgery for public patients.
No information was provided to the ANMF (SA Branch) ahead of this announcement that helps us to understand either the motivation for, or operational systems associated with, this development.
Whilst the involvement of private operators in meeting surges in demand for public services that cannot be met by the public hospital system is not new, there appears to be radical new features of the announced scheme including:
The requirement that private hospital activity be met from within the public hospital budget allocations;
A lack of information regarding the type and complexity of activity to be undertaken in the private system; and
An absence of assurances that public hospital activity and bed/service availability would not be diminished by the operation of this announcement.
The ANMF (SA Branch) has sought from the Minister all relevant details of the announced scheme as a matter of urgency along with a briefing by relevant staff in the Department.
We have also flagged our significant concerns that such announcements continue to be made via media release rather than through the ANMF (SA Branch) established intersections with the Department and Minister’s office.
The ANMF (SA Branch) will keep members updated as more information is known.