Thursday, October 1, 2009

Community Consultation on Government purchase of Calvary Hospital

The Little Company of Mary Health Care has agreed in-principle to sell the hospital to the Government for $77 million. The ACT Government and Little Company of Mary Health Care (LCM) have reached in-principle agreement on the proposed changes and is now in a position to put forward a proposal for community consultation and feedback.

The Government has announced a six week consultation period regarding the ownership and governance of Calvary Public Hospital and Clare Holland House. The consultation period is from 1 October 2009 to 12 November 2009 and will include a number of community forums during October. There also a specific website www.health.act.gov.au/calvaryconsultation which also provides avenues for our community to feed in our views.

The consultation period provides an opportunity for the community to be informed of the proposal and express our views. This is by no means a fete accompli. The Government will hear from staff and community members about concerns and perceived benefits of the deal. This is the time that consumers and carers need to take time to consider the proposal and provide feedback to the Government.

The Government will make a final decision about the sale at the conclusion of the consultation period. If a decision is taken to proceed with the changes, an Appropriation Bill would be introduced into the Legislative Assembly for debate.

HCCA considers that the community will derive benefit by transferring direct responsibility of the public hospital from LCM to the ACT Government. The Government considers that this transfer will provide the opportunity to develop one seamless and integrated public health care system for the ACT and surrounding region, and to maximise efficiencies through a single governance arrangement, with consistency in policy and health program management. Should the Government decide to proceed the implementation will be critical to realising the benefits for our community and improving health outcomes for consumers.

The cumbersome cross‐charging arrangements were highlighted in the 2008 Auditor General's Report and are a direct result of there being no formal commercial separation of the public and private arms of the Calvary operation. This sale of Calvary Public Hospital to the ACT Government can remove this issue. It can also generate efficiencies by reducing duplication of a range of services including human resources and technology and streamline financial, administrative and clinical management within the ACT Health structure.

LCM plans to build a new co‐located private hospital on the Calvary site which forms part of the proposed agreement. This facility would be operated by LCM and replace the current Calvary Private Hospital once constructed.

Written submissions can be provided by:
email calvaryconsultation@act.gov.au or
mail Calvary Consultation, ACT Health Policy Division, GPO Box 825, Canberra ACT 2601

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