You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
That is the view of Infrastructure New Zealand chief executive Stephen Selwood, who took exception to the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists opposing a public-private hospital.
''Why the senior doctors union think they're experts in major capital procurement is beyond me,'' he said.
''You wouldn't get capital procurers professing their expertise in brain surgery, but for some reason the medical specialists think they're experts in capital procurement,'' Mr Selwood said.
Investors might be asked to build the proposed Dunedin Hospital and lease it back to the Crown/DHB for a set term. There are few confirmed details about how it would work.
Mr Selwood said there would be big gains for patients and taxpayers from a well-designed public-private partnership (PPP).
Investors carried the risk, as their money was on the line.
Their annual fees could be withheld if they did not do a good job.
It was in their interest to do a proper job of designing and building the hospital. They would be responsible for maintenance and upkeep.
It worked like a lease-to-buy scheme, and the hospital would end up in full public ownership.
PPPs were now well established in New Zealand for prisons, roads, and schools.
Mr Selwood said the doctors' union focused on overseas PPP failures, but not the successes.
''[Senior doctors] consistently quote the ones that go wrong. You never hear them quoting the ones that have gone right.''
Investors would be held to a higher standard of service and accountability than the Government, he said.
Mr Selwood suggested the doctors' union had already had a win, as the Government had all but ruled out a full PPP involving investors running the new hospital's medical services.
''That's largely due to the opposition of the medical staff and the political risk around that.''
A public-private hospital is also likely to be opposed by many members of the public.
Mr Selwood suggested people should rethink their opposition.
''I would encourage the people of Dunedin to think about the potential benefits of this approach rather than taking this anti-privatisation stance.''
Big New Zealand fund holders like New Zealand Super Fund were looking for this type of investment.
''This is an opportunity for New Zealand to invest in itself,'' Mr Selwood said.
The senior doctors' union came out strongly against PPPs after Prime Minister Bill English's rebuild announcement last Saturday, saying patients could suffer.
Senior doctors' union executive director Ian Powell hit back at Mr Selwood's comments.
''This is a propaganda response from a self-interested private industry group whose members include those who would profit from public-private partnerships.''
''It is probably an unintended compliment that the concerns of senior doctors are worrying their vested interests.
''It also suggests that there are private interests keen to rake profits out of the new hospital building.
''The comment about Treasury being expert in this area, for example, is absurd in the context of public hospitals' role in providing healthcare services for patients in need,'' Mr Powell said.