AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS

PRESS RELEASE 305

ELITE HOSPITAL AND THE OLD BOYS NETWORK:

CANCER IN THE EMPLOYMENT SYSTEM?

 

 

On August 17 2008, the Sydney Morning Herald  on page 1 reported that the entire team of anesthetists at St Vincent’s Private Hospital – more than 30 doctors - is under investigation for acting as a cartel. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is moving to end what other doctors claim is a decades-long history of restrictive behaviour by an old boys’ network which is bent on protecting its exclusive access to some of Sydney’s most lucrative private operating lists.

 

The private hospital’s pool is restricted to anesthetists who also work at St. Vincent’s Public Hospital – appointed through what the hospital describes as a ‘competitive process’ intended to benefit public patients, but which others say includes a system of patronage skewed towards doctors trained there.

 

Put this ‘old boy network’ at a religious hospital together with another report in the same paper in the Education section on page 28. In an article entitled ACU adds ethical edge, we discover that the Australian Catholic University is stepping up efforts to recruit business students by implementing a renewed focus on ethics and non-profit enterprises and planning to establish a faculty of business in 2010.

 

DOGS have a few questions to ask:

 

§   How many of the anesthetists at St VIncents Hospital in Sydney are not ‘old boys’ of the religious school sector?

 

§   How many politicians in the major parties are not ‘old boys’ of the religious school sector?

 

§   How many judges on the High Court are not ‘old boys’ of the religious school sector?

 

DOGS research indicates that the number of men and women in influential political, economic and legal positions who do not  come from the religious school sector are few and far between. Their percentage fails to represent the more than two thirds of students who attend our public education systems. In fact, underneath all the ‘ethical’ hype of religious institutions like the Australian Catholic University lies the plain fact that religious schools promote ‘old boy networks’. See Press Release 285 at www.adogs.info/pr285.htm; Press Release 223 at www.adogs.info/pr223; and Press Release 220 at www.adogs.info/pr220.htm.

 

In Australia religious education systems are about the a lot more than the ‘ethical edge’. Their Old boy networks are bastions of privilege and undermine our liberal democratic State. The billions of taxpayers dollars subsidising these institutions has produced a cancer in the body politic. Substantial funding propping up sectarian privilege also gives unfair advantages to old-boy networks in the economic system.