Today local residents, health staff and union activists will present the Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison MP with another 10,000 signatures for the Maitland Hospital petition. The petition calls on the NSW Government to make the new Maitland hospital a public one, fully owned and operated by the Government.
The Maitland hospital petition was previously debated in the NSW Parliament on 14 September 2017. Approximately 40 concerned Maitland residents traveled to Sydney to watch Jenny Aitchison MP take the fight to the NSW Government and the Health Minister, Brad Hazzard MP, and show their support for a fully public hospital.
In July the Government conceded the original promise was not enough money and the Health Minister added $50 million, increasing the total commitment to $450 million. The Minister also committed that construction would commence this year.
Over 20,000 residents have now signed the new Maitland Hospital petition to tell the NSW Government that they want their new hospital to be built publicly. The NSW Government back-flipped on the proposed Public-Private Partnership model for the new hospital in July, closing the door to corporate for profit providers but have still been pursuing a PPP with a not-for-profit provider. The community has rejected this announcement as privatisation by another name.
The residents of Maitland have signed petitions, written letters, made phone calls and attended community forums to tell the Government that they want the new hospital to be built and operated as a public hospital, and they want it built now.
Of the five hospitals announced for privatisation by former Health Minister Skinner, three have reverted to public hospitals. Only Maitland and Shellharbour are still under consideration for private operators.
Maitland is the fastest growing community in the state outside of Sydney, with the population showing an increase of over 15% in the census.
Comments attributable to Jenny Aitchison MP, Member for Maitland
“This Government has back-flipped, obfuscated and misled the people of Maitland for over 6 years. It is time for the Premier to show some leadership and make our new hospital a public one.”
“The Minister for Health has said that he would act ‘to get the best outcome for the community’. Over 20,000 residents have signed this petition to tell the Minister that the best outcome for our community is a fully public hospital.”
"We have waited too long for this hospital to be fobbed off with a privatised model. Less than 1/4 of people in Maitland use private health insurance in hospitals. We already have a private hospital. The Government has a responsibility to provide us with a public hospital, just like any other community in this state."