Health Minister Jillian Skinner has strongly condemned a union scare campaign which alleges the NSW Government is “handing over our public hospitals to private corporations – just like America”.
The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association has funded a television advertisement which plays out against the backdrop of the US national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.
“I have the greatest respect for our nurses and midwives and the dedicated way they care for their patients. I am, however, appalled by their Association’s television advertisement,” Mrs Skinner said.
In November, the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association was forced to admit it had issued a casting call for actors to play patients in an upcoming television campaign.
The advertised roles included an “early 40s female cancer patient. Prefer bald or very thin or short hair so we can put a bandana on. All ethnicities.”
Another advertised role was for a male aged 18-22 with an unspecified illness. The Association’s briefing to the casting agency stated: “We haven’t decided what this patient has yet … so let’s just go for someone who we can make look a bit sad and sorry for themselves. All ethnicities.”
“This union campaign is absolutely baseless and any talk of Americanisation is complete nonsense,” Mrs Skinner said.
Mrs Skinner said Labor’s support for the campaign is reckless and once again shows it prioritises politics ahead of patients.
“This is pure scaremongering – Labor is conspiring with the union to deliberately mislead the community. It is shameful practice but sadly predictable from their health spokesman – Labor’s chief spin doctor.
“The NSW Government is committed to delivering free public hospital services for all public patients.
“As I visit hospitals around NSW, I talk to real patients who are happy with the outstanding care they receive in our hospitals and the compassionate and professional way our nurses and midwives deliver that care.
“There is no better advertisement for our health system than that,” Mrs Skinner said.