Staff at private hospitals are “disappointed” with the decision to move delivery services to the Tasmanian Health Service area, but will work with the Northwest Department and Regional Hospital to ensure a smooth transition, according to the executive director of the North West Private Hospital, Keith Cock.
Mr Cock said he believed the overhaul of services was due to a vocal minority who found their roles hampered by the maternity services division under the current contract.
However, he agreed that a single governance model was the best practice.
“The difficulty is definitely having two employers,” he said.
“In the long run, it has to be a one-employer service – I agree with that, and the decision has been made that the public (service) will run it.
“Obviously this is disappointing for us as we have been providing the service for 29 years. The contract itself delivered what it was supposed to deliver. “
Mr. Cock said that “from the start”. there were some groups “who were not satisfied with the contractual arrangements”.
“I don’t see anything changing unless there is stronger leadership,” he said.
“In saying this, we have accepted the decision and that things will change. We are committed to working closely with HRT to ensure a smooth transition.”
Mr Cock said he believed the private hospital would remain achievable when the change took place, although he acknowledged that maternity made up around 40% of the services provided.
“We have a long history of providing a large amount of service to the private hospital,” he said, noting the number of arthroplasties performed for the public sector as an example.
“We have received assurances from the secretary (of ANFM Tasmania) that she is keen to ensure that the region does not lose any hospital beds and that the NWPH remains a viable and sustainable business,” said Mr Cock.
“The staff are obviously disappointed and a little emotional at the moment, but in the future the system cannot afford to lose a registered nurse or midwife.”
He said the staff could be assured that there would be no job losses.
“The only thing that will be different is who pays their wages,” he said.
“The Northwestern Private Hospital and the Public Hospital are both extremely committed to ensuring that the transition runs smoothly and that the community, especially the women, feels no difference in service.
“They can rest assured that they will be taken care of at the highest level.”
What do you think? Have your say by sending us a letter to the editor using the form below.