|Issue No 49||07 April 2000|
Back Door Sell-Off of Nursing Home Beds
Nurses fear thousands of public nursing homes beds are about to be offered to private commercial operators as the State Government moves to apply National Competition Policy to the aged care sector.
The NSW Nurses Association has written to the NSW Health Department over the tendering of public beds to 'for profit' aged care providers - a condition of NSW receiving federal funds under the national competition agreement signed in the mid-90s.
Immediate concern revolves around the future of beds at the Allandale Aged Care Facility in the Hunter and Garrawarra in the Illawarra.
NSW Nurses Association assistant general secretary Brett Holmes says the State Government may end up needing to choose between federal money and decent aged care. And he's not confident which way it will go.
"We have already had to swallow fact that state nursing homes beds sold off to not for profit sector under a deal with the fed government to guarantee funding," Holmes says.
"But what's happened now is because of competition policy, they're tendering out beds to private for profit as well.
"Its going to be very hard if the big operators start tendering - if they poor more money than the not for profits - the government will face a dilemma between dollars and principle."
Nurses fear the transfer of beds to 'for profit' operators will undermine standards and affect the wages and conditions of workers in the centers.
Nurses Launch Medicare Campaign
Meanwhile, nurses today launched a community campaign in support of the maintenance of medicare and public health care system.
The campaign launch, outside Bankstown Medicare Office, coincided with World Health Day was launched by actor Jacqui Weaver and Nurses Association secretary Sandra Moait.
Interview: Rebuilding from the Rubble
Ramona Mitussis, APHEDA's co-ordinator in East Timor reports on how Australian workers are contributing to rebuilding a nation.
East Timor: UN Poseurs Delay Reconstruction
Returning to the Dili compound where he spent five days under siege, HT Lee finds an aid bureacracy out of control.
Unions: The Last Bank in Minto
"It's a busy branch", Carol Davison insists, watching the crowd gather around the Commonwealth Bank branch at Minto Mall. By the time you read this, the branch will be another empty shopfront, stripped of its fittings, with junk mail starting to accumulate under the front door.
International: Workers of the World Unite
ILO Director-General Juan Somavia's keynote address to the ICFTU Congress in Durban, South Africa this week.
Olympics: Strange Tenants
Rentwatchers lifts the lid on the legacy the 2000 Games will leave on Sydney's tenants.
Politics: The Loneliness Crisis
Lindsay Tanner looks at the politics of the soul that form the backdrop of many of our social ills.
History: Songs of Solidarity
Visiting US labour acadmeic John Lund has found a new way to digest history - he commits workers' struggles to song.
Satire: Seven Launches 'Popstars' Spin-off
On the heels of Popstars comes a new show taking five minor celebrities and turning them into normal people
Review: Keating's Engagement
Whether it's analysis or self-justification, Paul Keating's new book is an engaging read.
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