Janine Freeman MLALabor Member for Mirrabooka

Your local Labor MP

Serco to avoid responsibility for superbug outbreaks

Friday 12 Aug 2011


The 'Fiona Stanley: Summary of Facilities Management Services Contract' report contains clauses that virtually suspended Serco's performance standards if there was a medical contamination.

"Hospital service providers should not be entitled to relief from their duties in these situations and this would not happen if the Barnett Government listened to Labor's warnings and kept hospital services in public hands said Janine.

"The Minister has said Serco should not be held responsible for infection at Fiona Stanley Hospital because it would be too hard to prove the company was at fault.

"If Serco isn't taking on the risk as the facility manager, what is the point of the contract?" 

Shadow Minister for Health, Roger Cook said under the Court Government, subcontractors avoided responsibility for a superbug outbreak in Western Australian hospitals, as the outbreak was deemed the responsibility of sub-contractors.

"The privatisation of Royal Perth Hospital in the 1990s led to significant difficulties controlling infection as a result of inadequate cleaning of wards, insufficient surveillance prior to an outbreak and failure to properly screen patients," he said. 

"The clauses in the report suggest if this happened again at Fiona Stanley Hospital, Serco and its subcontractors would be completely unaccountable. 

"This is one of the results of employing hospital support staff that work to a contract, not a standard of service."

For more information on the campaign to keep our hospitals in public hands, check out www.inpublichands.com.au