Dear Friends in Christ,
By now, you would have heard the shocking news that the ACT Government intends to compulsorily acquire our wonderful Calvary Public Hospital, Bruce.
This is despite the fact that we have been offering high-quality patient care under our Catholic ethos for the past 44 years on this site. 76 years remain on the contract negotiated and signed in 2010 with the then Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher.
No convincing reasons to date have been offered for this draconian action by the ACT Government. No systemic issues of concern regarding Calvary’s health outcomes has been identified; to the contrary, the Health Minister made a point of emphasising Calvary’s excellent care for patients.
I am deeply troubled about this situation and its implications.
My prayers and thoughts are immediately directed to the 1,800 workers of the hospital and their families. They must be worried about the ramifications of this decision for their future employment.
I am also concerned that this action, based on obsessive government control, would deprive future generations in Canberra of the choice of hospital care based on the ethos of our cherished Catholic faith.
There is a rising fear, also, that this extraordinary and completely unnecessary government intervention could set the scene for future “acquisitions” of any faith-based health facility or, indeed, any faith-based enterprise, including education or social welfare.
To respond practically to this critical situation, I have established today the “Calvary Hospital Taskforce – Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.” Fr Tony Percy, has kindly accepted my invitation to lead this Taskforce. This group will be contacting you to offer you practical ways of responding, including participating in an online petition at www.savecalvary.com.au before May 31st 2023, when it is intended the legislation for acquisition becomes effective.
Let us all pray for common sense to prevail and that the sick and Hospital staff are saved from anxiety and can live in health and peace.
Archbishop Christopher Prowse
Catholic Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn