Statement from Peter Cain, ACT Shadow Attorney-General

“The Canberra Liberals strongly oppose the ACT Greens-Labor Government’s forcible acquisition of Calvary Hospital. In ripping up their 76-year contract and essentially forcing all of the Calvary staff to work for ACT Health, the Government has painted a dire picture for the state of the territory. This acquisition is being done despite the ACT Government admitting that Calvary has been delivering good healthcare and is not in any breach of its contract. Many of the 1,800 staff at Calvary have chosen to work at Calvary because of its good culture which stands in contrast to ACT Health, which is well known from numerous staff surveys to have a toxic workplace culture and poor management practices. Calvary staff contacting the Opposition have expressed their dismay with some not certain if they will transition to ACT Health. What impact this will have on ACT Health’s ability to run clinical services at Calvary once the takeover is completed by 3 July is unclear.

What is also very unclear is whether ACT Health will be able to manage the hospital services as well as Calvary currently does. Staff have questioned why ACT Health would think it could do a better job than Calvary when it is itself plagued by so many problems. This whole exercise appears more ideological than it does based on good policy. It is being viewed by many as an anti-faith agenda by a Greens-Labor Coalition and it is hard not to believe that at its heart, that’s what’s driving this hostile action. If this forced acquisition proceeds, the question is also at what cost beyond the potential degradation of clinical services and staff culture. How many hundreds of millions of dollars is the taxpayer going to be required to spend to change from Calvary to ACT Health ownership without a single quantifiable benefit?

Further, it must be considered the effect this will have on the suburb of Belconnen. This facility was a treasured and essential healthcare service for residents in the area, that will now transition to the shaky and poorly administration of this Government. The question is, who is next?  Will it be Clare Holland House, also run by Calvary? Or maybe the Racecourse, which the government has had its eyes on for a while now.  Because once a government starts behaving like a dictatorship, history shows us, they seldom stop.”

Peter Cain

Liberal Member for Ginninderra

Shadow Attorney-General

Shadow Minister for Planning and Land Management

Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs

Assistant Shadow Treasurer

Assistant Speaker

Source: National Alliance of Christian Leaders

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