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31 March 2020
We have welcomed the Federal Government’s Private Hospital Viability and Capacity Guarantee which will secure the viability and capacity of private hospitals and save the jobs of nurses, midwives and other health workers, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Guarantee will see private and public hospitals work together on an unprecedented, coordinated Australian emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Federal Government agreeing to fund 50/50 of generated activity with the states and territories and underwrite the gap between revenue received and private hospitals’ fixed costs.
The Guarantee will ensure over 30,000 hospital beds, and the private sector’s 105,000 skilled workforce, is available alongside the public hospital sector.
This is excellent news for many of our members working in the private sector. The underwriting of 657 private hospitals across Australia will ensure all available resources are dedicated in the battle against COVID-19.
The Guarantee’s conditions will further ensure the retention of the nursing, midwifery and other health workforces for the duration of the pandemic in Australia.
This is a landmark step in creating a united front against the coronavirus.
As members can appreciate, we need access to all available resources including the invaluable skills of our nurses, midwives and other health care professionals. For our members to be able to deliver optimal care to COVID-19 patients they need job security as well as infrastructure and essential resources such as ventilators, ICU beds and PPE.
A significant part of the Government’s response is that it requires the private sector to act as not-for-profit organisations for the duration of the Guarantee.
The details announced by the Government today will greatly help in our fight against COVID-19.
We are seeking urgent local information from the State Department of Health & Wellbeing about their plans to make use of private hospital capacity and private sector nurses.
Further information and updates will be provided as they are available.