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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Privatised services at Fiona Stanley Hospital back in public hands

Health Industry Hub | March 11, 2020 |

MedTech News: Three patient facing services at Fiona Stanley Hospital will no longer be privatised and come back into public hands, under a new agreement made by the McGowan Labor Government.

The agreement means up to 650 staff, or an estimated 65% of the Serco staff currently working at WA’s Fiona Stanley Hospital, will be offered jobs in the public sector, employed by the South Metropolitan Health Service.

Current estimates put the cost of these jobs coming into the public sector at an additional $8 million a year, on top of a one-off transition cost of $12.9 million, which is affordable now that the Budget is under control and in surplus. Costs are based on similar services provided at Royal Perth Hospital and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

The signing of a new Deed of Amendment varies the existing Facilities Management Services Contract, which is coming to the end of its first 10-year contract term in August 2021. That original contract was signed between the previous Liberal National Government and Serco.

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Cleaning, patient catering and internal logistics services, which incorporates hospital orderlies, domestic assistants and cleaners, will now be operated by the South Metropolitan Health Service from August 2, 2021.

These staff will be offered continuing employment at the hospital under the publically managed Western Australian Health system, in line with the public sector standards.

Serco Australia will continue to deliver 21 other services, under the existing contract that will expire in 2027, and allows for a further four-year extension, which meets the original 20-year arrangement originally signed in 2011.

The policy honours the WA Labor election commitment to return privatised services into public hands, where possible and economically beneficial to do so.

The Department of Health, the South Metropolitan Health Service and Serco will continue to work together to transition these services back to the operation of Fiona Stanley Hospital, and ensure a smooth transition.

Premier Mark McGowan said “The services that will be returned to public control are those which are patient facing, directly impacting a patient’s experience in hospital and we believe these are most appropriately managed in the public sector. Having these services and jobs run in-house is the right thing to do, we never believed they should have been privatised. We have been able to deliver on this important policy and finalise the commercial negotiations because we have the Budget under control.”

Health Minister Roger Cook said “The public health system is for the people of WA. The State Government is responsible and accountable to the public for the provision of these essential health services which should not have been contracted out given their relationship to patient care. WA Health is continuing to work with Serco at Fiona Stanley Hospital to provide selected facilities management at the hospital and I thank them for their work to deliver facilities management since the hospital opened in 2015.”

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