Media Release

HSU hypocrisy – silence on Gillard’s $1.6 billion hospital cuts

Federal Labor is cutting $1.6 billion in hospital funding which is causing the closure of hospital beds, shutdown of operating theatres and reduction in capacity of emergency departments while the Health Services Union remains silent.

In what is being slammed as grossly hypocritical, the HSU is instead trying to run a campaign against the New South Wales Government, including a stop work protest today about the possible privatisation of one hydrotherapy pool.

Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said the move reinforces the HSU’s complete lack of credibility.

The former National Secretary and current Member for Dobell, Craig Thomson, has been accused of using the dues of modestly paid union members for prostitutes and other improper personal purposes.

“Given the history of the union, now would be the time to genuinely stand up for its members against the Federal Government’s cuts.

“But instead of fighting reckless retrospective cuts by the Labor Government that will affect its members, the HSU is engaging in phoney political battles in an election year,” said Mr Dutton.

Federal Labor is cutting $1.6 billion from public hospital expenditure, including retrospective cuts for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 financial years.  The funding has already been spent and allocated by hospitals and health services and will now have to be repaid at the expense of patient services in some areas.

“HSU officials need to explain why they have not breathed a word of criticism about the Gillard Government’s $1.6 billion cut.

“This is not happening and it would seem Labor links are as strong as ever at the beleaguered HSU,” said Mr Dutton.