Of all the ways to validate the frontline staff caring for Australia’s sick and infirm, only an outfit run by a private equity firm could think this was a good idea.
Last week Healthcare Australia, the Crescent Capital-owned healthcare recruiter and NDIS provider, posted to its social media channels a video of last week’s nursing gala dinner at Sydney Harbour’s upmarket Quay Restaurant.
There were cocktails on arrival, a four-course dinner catered by Quay executive chef Peter Gilmore, and Sydney Harbour views. All par for the course at ritzy corporate functions in Sydney.
Nothing but the best at Healthcare Australia’s Nursing Gala Dinner.
But then, something less expected: various videos of staff photographed with a money gun, raining down (fake) cash as part of a 360-degree photo-booth experience.
So, in a perpetually underfunded sector almost wholly reliant on the public purse, where NDIS funding grows uncontrollably while residents and patients make do with meals and facilities at best praised as “adequate”, Healthcare Australia’s event organisers thought a money gun sounded fun. Go figure: families of clients who saw the video were not amused.
Incidentally, Healthcare Australia is currently up for sale. We suppose the optics of showering employees with cash is one way to signal that business is good.
At least this stunt has few consequences. In 2021, Healthcare Australia drew the ire of then-health minister Greg Hunt after a doctor who skipped the training gave an elderly man and woman four times the recommended dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The oldies were fine. Though it hardly did the trick for vaccine hesitancy, the conquering of which was at that point a prerequisite for the lifting of Australia’s draconian health mandates.
After it emerged Healthcare Australia had misrepresented the doctor’s training to the federal government, Crescent Capital’s Daren McKennay (already Healthcare Australia’s chairman) was drafted into what Hunt called “an executive administration role” to oversee things more closely.
Two years on, surely he had nothing to do with event planning (or social media posting). Though he still oversees Crescent’s healthcare investments, so is these days no doubt pondering his own money shower should Crescent’s advisers engineer a successful exit. For nursing staff, we suspect a play money photo-booth will be the closest they get to theirs.
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