Hospitals privatising, government lowering property tax

I SUPPORT Mark Bateman's view (Hidden Agenda?  Letters, 19/4) about the intensified attack on King Edward Memorial Hospital.   I believe that entrepreneurs want the profit they can make from selling and reselling that expensive land.

14      THE WEST AUSTRALIAN THURSDAY APRIL 20 2000
letters@wanews.com.au
"Private takeover?"
Letter to editor, from John Massam, Greenwood

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  Does the Court Government's current inquiry into safety and care at KEMH and Princess Margaret Hospital have something to do with the ongoing moves by private corporations, some of them actually trucking companies, to take over the health professions?

  After that, these firms can sell to overseas firms, so we can copy the smashed-up health system of the United States, and the WA [Western Australian] Government can keep lowering the tax burden on the rich, and giving out grants and property-tax concessions to them.

JOHN MASSAM, Greenwood.


Land link seen by another correspondent -- Government ought to spend on upgrading

MARK Bateman (Letters, 19/4) hit the nail on the head.  It is not only KEMH sitting on prime real estate. Look at the location of PMH [Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, in Subiaco].

12     THE WEST AUSTRALIAN THURSDAY APRIL 24 2000
Letter to editor, from Jennifer Lynn, Duncraig
in the
IN SHORT letters column

  With the rise of East Perth, is it only a matter of time before we start reading the same reports about RPH [Royal Perth Hospital, a university training hospital about two blocks from the central business district]?

  Perhaps, instead of inquiries into these facilities the money could be spent upgrading them. I suspect all the perceived sloppy practice and suspected fraud would evaporate.

JENNIFER LYNN, Duncraig.


THE LETTER THAT STARTED THE ABOVE REVEALING COMMENTS
Hidden agenda?

IS ANYONE out there feeling sceptical about the investigations into King Edward Memorial Hospital? Of course, sloppy practice or suspected fraud should always be investigated and remedied, but is there a hidden agenda here?

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN THURSDAY APRIL 19 2000     17
"Hidden agenda?"
Letter to editor, from Mark Bateman, Thornlie

  This Government, which has steadfastly refused to run proper inquiries on a range of issues, has latched on to this one with suspicious enthusiasm. The inquiry, which has the powers of a royal commission, is under ministerial control. This seems like overkill, especially as most people realise that many hospital problems stem from simple lack of funding.

  KEMH has won world renown for its care of critically ill babies. However, it is a hospital catering for working-class women and situated on prime real estate in a wealthy middle-class suburb. Don't be surprised to find an inquiry recommending sale of the site and finding other options for expectant mothers.

MARK BATEMAN, Thornlie.


PENNY-PINCHING GOVERNMENT SPOILING WORLD-CLASS HOSPITALS
How good was
my hospital

TWENTY years ago, when my children were born, many women with private health insurance (including me) chose to have their babies at KEMH, secure in the knowledge that while the rooms and the food may not have been equal to those in some private maternity hospitals, the standard of medical expertise definitely was the best available.

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN THURSDAY APRIL 19 2000     17
"How good was
my hospital"

Letter to editor, from Angela Carroll, Fremantle

  The responsibility for its terrible situation now (Hospital baby deaths probe, 15/4) can be laid squarely at the feet of the penny-pinching Court Government and its succession of incompetent health ministers who have allowed not just KEMH, but all our wonderful public teaching hospitals to limp along with inadequate funding for years.

  Now that it has become obvious to the Government (it has been obvious to patients and staff for years) that spending restrictions on equipment and staff will eventually have undesirable medical outcomes, it is on the hunt for convenient scapegoats.

  The WA public deserves better than this. Our teaching hospitals are woefully underfunded and we will all be the losers if this is allowed to continue.

  Budget blowouts in capital works, such as the Northbridge tunnel, are shrugged off by the Government, but any blowout in a hospital budget leads to it being treated like a naughty child who has overspent its pocket money.

  Mr Court is always telling us what a wonderful economy this State has. Why won't he spend our money where it is needed? This Government's performance on health is an absolute disgrace.

ANGELA CARROLL, Fremantle.


(THIS IS PUBLISHED TO BE FAIR)
Government will not move KEMH

THE comments of Dr Louise Farrell (The State needs KEMH, Letters, 6/6) regarding the importance of having "a central unit that provides the whole spectrum of health care for women and new-born babies on our campus" are entirely supported by the State Government and consistent with Government policy.

THE WEST AUSTRALIAN WEDNESDAY JUNE 7 2000     15
"Government will not move KEMH"
Letter to editor, from John Day, Minister for Health

  The debate in recent days about the future location of KEMH has been valuable in focussing attention on the continuing need for a centre of excellence in obstetrics, neonatology and gynaecology.

  WA has an enviable record in the fields of medical research, teaching and service delivery. Nothing that has been said by either Premier Richard Court or me detracts from the Government's commitment to continuing support for these endeavours, particularly in relation to women's and children's health services.

  To the contrary, it is the policy of the Government not to change the location of KEMH if we are successful in being re-elected.

  We will also continue to develop high-quality women's and children's health services closer to where rapid population growth is occurring, including in the Joondalup, Midland, Armadale and Rockingham districts, in addition to ensuring that world-class tertiary services are provided through KEMH for the whole of the State.

JOHN DAY, Minister for Health.

The West Australian, Wednesday June 7 2000, p 15

(COMMENT: In the opinion of the owner of this Website, the promise made above ought to be viewed in the light of the broken pre-election promises that guaranteed certain government enterprises would remain in government hands. The Labor Opposition, too, when it was in Government, sold and closed certain enterprises in contradiction to its long-standing policies. You will note that the Minister wrote this, in June, about the "debate in recent days." But the debate had been going on back in April!!!)


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