I AM pleased to see Lance Milne is having second thoughts about the hospital issue.
He asks some pertinent questions and I in turn would like to ask him some.
He mentions confusion about this topic and is, indeed, correct.
Does he realise that the Kennett Government, in its rush to sell off or privatise everything and anthing public, failed so dismally to research this matter that their original selection to build and run the hospital was being investigated for, and later found guilty of, malpractice and fraud against US health authorities.
The government’s confusion and indecent haste to cover up this indiscretion resulted in the hodge-podge situation we face today.
Does he realise that it is in this government’s best interests to maintain this confusion among the public for as long as it prevails, so there’s less pressure to face their responsibilities regarding health in Sunraysia.
Also, does Mr Milne realise that under the present arrangement, any money the government spends on hospital infrastructure is in effect a direct donation to the Motor Traders Association Superannuation Board, increasing the value of their asset? If the time arrives to buy back the hospital, this will only add to the cost.
Can he please tell me that while the government is increasing the size and range of services of other hospitals (for example, Echuca and Bendigo), how it benefits Sunraysia to lose more than half its beds and many medical services in the name of privatisation?
Lastly, would he please ask our local member Peter Crisp if the current formula for operating the Mildura Base Hospital is so successful, why hasn’t it been introduced statewide?
And would he and the Coalition be prepared to fight the next election with the promise to privatise the Royal Children’s Hospital as their main health policy?