More than three quarters of Perth voters in marginal seats are opposed to the Barnett Government privatising services at Fiona Stanley Hospital, with only one in ten voters supporting the move.
The overwhelming finding was made in a WAOP poll of 400 voters in the marginal State Government seats of Riverton, Swan Hills, Mount Lawley and Swan Hills.
Voters were asked whether they supported State Government moves to get overseas-owned multinational Serco to provide privatised services at Fiona Stanley Hospital. Serco currently runs Australia’s struggling immigration detention centres and private prisons.
LHMU Secretary Dave Kelly said the Barnett Government’s push to privatise WA hospitals was out of step with public opinion.
“Colin Barnett’s plans to privatise Fiona Stanley Hospital are about as popular as Serco’s new detention centre in Northam,” Mr Kelly said.
“With more than three quarters of voters opposing Mr Barnett’s privatisation plans, Mr Barnett should cease his negotiations with Serco and commit to keeping Fiona Stanley Hospital and our other public hospitals in public hands.
Mr Kelly said the strong polling result would come as no surprise to people with an understanding of the WA health system.
“WA voters understand that companies like Serco have to make a profit and that every dollar that Serco pockets as profit is a dollar that is not spent on health care.”
Health Services Union Secretary Dan Hill said the polling result supported the Labor Opposition’s commitment to end a future contract with Serco, if elected to government.
“Privatisation cannot save taxpayers money without resulting in cuts to services. Eric Ripper understands this and that is why he is taking such a strong stance against privatisation.
“Every dollar of profit that Serco pockets at Fiona Stanley Hospital is a dollar not spent on providing health services to the WA community. How can this be the right thing to do?
“Colin Barnett is misleading the public into thinking only a small number of Fiona Stanley services will be privatised. However, an internal Serco memo described the contract as its biggest ever and lists more than 30 services that it will be providing. These include cleaning, sterilisation and medical record keeping – all absolutely vital services in a hospital.
“Western Australia is a wealthy State and the Barnett Government can afford to provide us with quality publicly run hospitals. I welcome Mr Ripper’s stance against privatisation and Labor’s commitment to our public health system.”