Page 4465 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 14 October 2009

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Further down on the website it refers to a document called Transfer agreement for the purchase of Calvary Public Hospital—Treasury financial analysis. But like with so many things that the government does, you have got to look at the detail. I will quote three paragraphs which appear at the bottom of page 2:

The build option has been included as a useful comparator.

It is just a useful comparator. It continues:

The efficacy of this option from a location and service delivery perspective has not been assessed.

Okay, we have come up with some numbers; it has not been assessed. It continues:

Further, the costs of this option are indicative only …

It is an indication. We know how good they are on the costings on dams. We know how good they are at the costings on roads. So on the basis of this, this costing could be out by a couple of hundred million dollars. It continues:

… based on general measures rather than any detailed scoping.

It is a very significant issue and we have got general measures rather than detailed scoping. Further, it says:

The analysis in this paper does not reflect the impact on the budget and forward estimates, as some of the costs of the base case will be subject to future budget decisions.

So there are other factors affecting the accuracy of this data but we do not know what they are. It goes on to say:

Finally, any efficiencies from coordination and streamlining of services, and delineation of roles of the public hospitals, following the acquisition have not been included in the analysis.

Why have they not been included in the analysis? Because the government cannot make it work.

Ms Gallagher: Because they’re not part of the question.

MR SMYTH: The Treasurer says they are not part of the question, yet when we started this debate the whole question was the one governance model: “Bring it all in together, we can make it work better.” Because they have all been challenged and subsequently fallen over when groups like the AMA, the GPs, salaried medical officers and other groups question what is going on, we finally end up with the accounting treatment. Who is arguing here today for the purchase? I am not sure whether it is the health minister who is arguing for it in this case or whether it is the Treasurer. But it is certainly a Treasury argument. And what we do not get are clear answers from this minister.

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