The Byron District Hospital NSW Nurses and Midwives Association branch is concerned that surgical services at the new hospital will be built and operated by private enterprise if interest is shown – the tender process is ongoing at the moment.
The branch believes that utilisation of public-private partnerships to fund new health infrastructure projects in NSW are economically unsound, politically expedient and fraught with potential difficulties for the community and staff.
According to Australian economists it would be better fiscal policy if the state and federal governments utilised the record low interest rates to secure loans to increase public infrastructure.
We believe that the decision will not serve the Shire well now, or into the future, as it will not reduce the patient outflow to our major referral hospital at Tweed Heads or provide capacity for growth of health services so that Shire residents can be cared for closer to home. It will also place unwarranted added pressure on the already overburdened referral hospital.
We therefore ask that the community thinks of the big picture and vote accordingly in the NSW state election, dependent on the candidates commitment to secure public assets and infrastructure in the Byron shire.
Elizabeth McCall (branch secretary), Denise Clifford (branch president), Byron District Hospital