Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
The Hodgman Government has gifted the long-term lease of Hobart Private Hospital to Healthscope, now owned by Canadian company, Brookfield and controlled from an offshore tax haven in the Cayman Islands.
The Minister for Health, Sarah Courtney, needs to protect the interests of taxpaying Tasmanians, and come clean with the lease terms being negotiated.
Brookfield, an entity of BIPH - a company mentioned in the Paradise Papers - owns 42 other Australian hospitals, along with coal ports, rail lines, gas and water licences, and vast property holdings.
Brookfield’s directors’ function is to maximise profits from all their assets, including the Hobart Private Hospital, and move them to offshore tax havens. These structures are created to aggressively minimise tax and hide information.
Tasmanians need to be assured Healthscope’s lease conditions will not include a reduction in rent or services, or access to precious public hospital floorspace to expand the company’s profitability.
The government must make the lease public.
The Hodgman Government claims the tendering process was an open competition, but there’s no question Healthscope has been in privileged conversations for at least 18 months to negotiate an arrangement that suits its own bottom line.
Minister Courtney needs to come clean and provide the lease details. She needs to tell Tasmanians how she will protect their precious public health resources from being drained into this profit-maximising, tax-dodging company.