The Commonwealth government should intervene to stop the ACT government's planned forced acquisition of the Catholic-run Calvary Public Hospital at Bruce, the federal opposition has said.
Michaelia Cash, the opposition's legal affairs spokeswoman, called for the intervention on Saturday.
"The Albanese government needs to provide certainty to patients of Calvary hospital and religious bodies across Australia by reversing the Labor-Green ACT government's ideologically motivated attack on Calvary, one of the standout health providers," Senator Cash told The Weekend Australian.
Senator Cash said the former Coalition government's religious discrimination bill would have helped ensure religious hospitals could retain their ethos.
"The religious discrimination bill would have ensured religious hospitals could maintain a faith-based ethos without compromising the delivery of medical services to the public," she said.
The Morrison Liberal-National government failed to pass the bill, agreeing not to debate the laws in the Senate after a marathon overnight sitting in the lower house and amid concerns over protections for transgender students.
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The Australian Medical Association on Saturday said the timeframe of the takeover was unreasonable and senior medical staff said they had been disrespected and ignored.
AMA ACT branch president Walter Abhayaratna said Calvary staff had felt the government had set a "terrible precedent", which was expressed at a meeting of senior doctors and other staff earlier this week.
"While the ACT government has been concentrating on the bricks and mortar, the senior doctors feel excluded from a process that should have included them," Prof Abhayaratna said.
The ACT government last week announced it would compulsorily acquire the Bruce public hospital on July 3, in a move the government has said would lead to a more integrated health system.
Canberra's Catholic Archbishop, Christopher Prowse, on Friday called for renewed talks between the Catholic Church and the ACT about the hospital's future.
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