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Secret Oakden privatisation plan revealed

The State Liberals have released a leaked SA Health document showing the Weatherill Government was planning to privatise the care of mental health patients at the disgraced Oakden facility in December 2016.

“Rather than dealing with the appalling conditions for patients at the disgraced Oakden facility the Weatherill Government was planning to sell the Commonwealth bed licences to the highest bidder,” said Deputy State Liberal Leader Vickie Chapman.

“Jay Weatherill needs to explain why he has concealed his Government’s plan to privatise the care for mental health patients at the disgraced Oakden facility at the very moment his government was commissioning the Groves Report.

“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.

“Leesa Vlahos needs to come out of hiding and reveal if she met with any private providers who were interested in buying the Commonwealth licences for looking after the patients at Oakden from the State Government.

“Leesa Vlahos needs to explain why she failed to mention her plans to privatise the mental health services for older South Australians when she released the Groves Report into the disgraced Oakden facility.

“The Weatherill Government’s plans to privatise the care of mental health patients at the Oakden facility highlights the astonishing hypocrisy of the Labor Government.

“The Expression of Interest makes it clear the Weatherill Government was fully aware of the appalling conditions at Oakden before it commissioned the Groves Report into the facility.”

The SA Health document notes: ‘the current on-site facility is in very old condition’ and the ‘building has reached the end of its useful life’.

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