Secret mental health privatisation plan revealed

A leaked SA Health document shows the Weatherill Government is planning to sell the Northgate older persons mental health facility and privatise care for older mental health patients.

The internal memo authorised by the then Acting Chief Executive of SA Health Jenny Richter is to: assess market interest and capability to take over the management of the Older Persons Mental Health Services (OPMHS) non-acute facility.

The memo states: The first part of the project is to complete a Market analysis of all disability services. This was noted by Cabinet and has set a course for the business case on Northgate which is potentially being considered for sale.

“The Weatherill Government has been caught red handed planning to privatise one of the most important areas of health care,” said Deputy State Liberal Leader Vickie Chapman.

“Jay Weatherill needs to release all Cabinet documents relating to his plans to privatise mental health care for older South Australians.

“This leaked document explains why Jay Weatherill refused to provide cabinet documents to the ICAC investigation into the disgraced Oakden facility.

“It also explains why the Weatherill Government has failed to identify a new site for its promised new facility for older South Australians with severe mental health issues.

“It has no intention of building this facility – it will privatise the care for these vulnerable people.

“There is now no doubt that a returned Weatherill Labor Government will sell the Northgate facility.

“Jay Weatherill always claims he’s opposed to privatisation but he has been caught red handed trying to privatise the health care of some of South Australia’s most vulnerable citizens.

“The Weatherill Government’s plans to privatise the care of mental health patients in South Australia highlights the astonishing hypocrisy of the Labor Government.

“Rather than building a new mental health facility to look after older South Australians with severe dementia the Weatherill Government wants to wash its hands of the care of these people.”

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