A small group of protesters awaited Federal and State politicians as they arrived for the laying of foundations of Midland’s new St John of God-run public and private hospitals on August 8.
Made up of members from United Voice and the Health Services Union, the protesters said they were unhappy the State Government had put the management of a public hospital in private hands.
“We don’t oppose the Catholic Church running hospitals. We don’t oppose St John of God running hospitals, they do a great job, but we don’t think they should be running public hospitals,” Carolyn Smith, Acting Secretary of United Voice told The Record.
The State Government’s agreement that St John of God health group would not be required to provide contraceptive and vasectomy services was a “real concern for the whole community”, she said.
Convenor of the Save Midland Hospital Action Group Dee Parry, said a public hospital should be “completely secular”.
“It should provide all services that secular hospitals provide … St John’s won’t provide a whole range of services, particularly those pertinent to woman.”
SJOG said last week that if another provider built a clinic on-site which offered procedures regarded as morally unacceptable by the Church, neither the SJOG-run hospitals nor their staff would be involved in any way.