NSW opposition leader John Robertson has described a state government plan to privatise hundreds of ancillary hospital jobs on the north coast as the ‘worst single attack on north coast health services in recent memory’.
And he has been joined by a troika of north coast Labor figures to decry the move.
Labor says under the plan, the state government wants to privatise the work of some 500 staff carrying out cleaning, security and ward duties such as CPR.
On Wednesday, representatives of business consultancy firm MBM met with affected staff from Grafton, Maclean, Ballina and Lismore Base hospitals.
MBM has been contracted by the government to oversee the process of outsourcing the jobs at six north coast hospitals, which also include Murwillumbah and Tweed.
Mr Robertson joined with shadow north coast minister Walt Secord and Labor’s Tweed and Lismore state candidates Ron Goodman and Isaac Smith to formally oppose the plan.
‘These cuts are outrageous and are completely opposed by the community,’ Mr Robertson said.
‘It also comes as a total surprise to north coast families. Removing 500 staff will put so much pressure on hard-working medical staff including doctors and nurses. This plan must be dropped.’
Mr Goodman said it comes on the back of a plan to reduce hours at the Murwillumbah Hospital children’s ward and a plan to introduce paid parking at Tweed Hospital.
Mr Smith said that health services on the north coast were under attack from the Liberals and Nationals.’
Mr Secord said it was ‘just another example of [local] National Party MPs selling out north coast families.