Report Back – Pathology and BTS Privatisation - Good news!

Posted June 6, 2014 by Vivenne Doogan

Your jobs and the services you provide should never be for sale. Having world class Pathology and BTS services run "in house" is vital to the ongoing success of our Health system in Queensland.

Following months of political lobbying (see previous updates herehere and here) this week we had our first interaction with a Health and Hospital Board in Metro North on Monday 2 June then on Tuesday 3 June an announcement was made that the recommendations from the Pricewaterhouse Coopers review last year was that: there is no case to privatise Pathology Qld, and it is not an option.

This is excellent news all around. We are still seeking further clarification regarding BTS and FSS and contestability but these are excellent indications.

Together HSSA delegates Jim Gannon, Nigel Gibson, Colleen Kirstenfeldt and Glen Lawrence from Metro North met with the Board on Monday 2 June along with Together organiser James Douglas and me.

The representatives from Metro North HHS board were CEO Mr Malcolm Stamp,  Dr Paul Alexander (Board Member),  Angela Wilke (Head of HR) and Scott McMullan (corporate services).

As of 1 July the Health and Hospital Boards will have more power to decide on local services.

Our Meeting with the Metro North Board Representatives

Together HSSA delegates Jim Gannon, Nigel Gibson, Colleen Kirstenfeldt and Glen Lawrence from Metro North met with the Board on Monday 2 June along with Together organiser James Douglas and me.

The representatives from Metro North HHS board were CEO Mr Malcolm Stamp,  Dr Paul Alexander (Board Member),  Angela Wilke (Head of HR) and Scott McMullan (corporate services).

As of 1 July the Health and Hospital Boards will have more power to decide on local services.

The meeting was really positive – we came away with a shared understanding that the Board was committed to the best services and that they understood HSSA provided those.

Some of the statements made included the Board representatives saying that: 'MNHHS will not accept anything that lessens that the standard of services provided' and 'MNHHS won’t accept any solution that will negatively impact services.'

The Board members also said that they recognise the skills and expertise that HSSA brings to the health service, including areas such as linen services that may not require qualifications as such but still offered a high level of service delivery.

A discussion clarified that the Health Service will in fact be the decision makers on whether or not to "purchase" HSSA Services and in those services (what happens now is that a service agreement is signed each financial year).

The MNHHS Board supported the Minister's comments of "no cherry picking" and they stated that they were not involved in discussions about privatisation or contestability.
Overall it was an important meeting to have and a really great step forward.

The most important comment made by Metro North HHS is that they want to keep the dialogue open with Together members.

This demonstrates just how powerful a dialogue with your local HHS board can be. It was great to start building this local relationship with these decision makers.

We have scheduled another meeting with local delegates and Board Representatives in Townsville.

We have many more to go! If you would like to get involved in a meeting with your local Health Service Board about these important issues contact us at health@together.org.au.

Teleconference Wednesday 11 June

We will discuss this strategy and next steps at a teleconference for Together delegates and contacts next Wednesday 11 June.

To RSVP to the teleconference email health@together.org.au

Wednesday 11 June
6pm
Teleconference

The work you do is vital to everyone and it’s so important in the context of the most recent state budget that we keep reminding every decision maker that Pathology and BTS should never be for sale! The statements on Tuesday are the most definitive and positive we have had since the Blueprint for Better Healthcare suggested that your jobs and services could be for sale. You should be celebrated for your part in getting to this outcome. Well done. I look forward to hearing about future Board meetings and more successful interactions.

PS. Hopefully you have all seen the email earlier this week about our new campaign initiative Putting Patients First – as people who make sure our Health and Criminal Justice system works effectively make sure you have your say in the Check Up!

 


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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