Scott Morrison has "felt compelled" to enter the fractious debate over the ACT government's forced takeover of Calvary Public Hospital Bruce, saying it has "serious" national implications, is being "rammed" through and it is "not something I think we can cop".
The former Liberal prime minister made the comments during a 3.20 minute live video on Facebook filmed in his Parliament House office in Canberra.
It comes after the Federal Health Minister Mark Butler on Wednesday rejected suggestions the Albanese government should intervene in the ACT government's forced acquisition of Calvary Public Hospital, saying he has not been asked to and nor is it his job to get involved.
Filmed not long after Question Time, Mr Morrison revealed he had just been on the phone to the Catholic Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, Christopher Prowse, over the controversy with the future of the Catholic-operated public hospital.
The member for Cook, who is a devout, evangelical Christian, criticised the takeover pointing to the lease having more than 70 years still to run.
"Here the government is ramming through legislation in the ACT which will enable them to force the sale of the Calvary hospital which has done a wonderful job here in Canberra over many, many years," Mr Morrison said.
"If a territory government, or indeed a state government, can do a forced acquisition of a hospital run by a religious institution, force that through parliament and take it over, then what's going on?"
The former prime minister said the Opposition Leader Peter Dutton "got crickets" when he raised the forced acquisition directly with the Prime Minister.
"He got nothing," Mr Morrison said.
"Prime Minister Albanese has no plan to intervene in this matter at all. This has serious implications and ramifications for the delivery of religious-based services in so many areas. I mean, these faith institutions have been doing an incredible job in our country for hundreds of years.
"I haven't often said something since the last election, but I gotta tell you on this occasion, I feel just compelled to have something to say about this."
Earlier, the federal opposition called on the Albanese government to override the ACT government as debate began in the territory's legislative assembly on laws to allow the takeover.
But Mr Butler indicated he is staying out of the dispute, while offering the high-stakes takeover has "nothing to do" with Calvary hospital being operated by a Catholic provider.
The Prime Minister on Monday backed the ACT decision and insisted the move was not setting a precedent nor was it driven by religion.
"The ACT government are expanding their public hospital service delivery and restructuring healthcare provision as a result," Mr Albanese told this masthead on Monday.
But Mr Morrison is concerned about the "much bigger national implications" which he indicated were faith-based.
"This whole idea of cop it and hand it over is just not something that should be happening in this country," he said
"And if you have a religious faith, and whatever that faith might be, the fact that the government can just come and take over services that you've invested into, that you prayed over, that you've supported, that you volunteered, it can be changed by the simple passing of a bill in the ACT legislature.
"Well, that's not something I think we can cop.
"Anyway, if you feel strongly about this, I urge you to contact your local member of parliament. This isn't just about what's happening in the ACT. It has much bigger national implications."
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