The Australian government is considering takeover of public hospitals in the country.
Fairfax newspapers report the Health and Hospitals Reform Commission's interim report, given to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon before Christmas, examines options for a federal takeover.
During his election campaign, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had said he the government would hold a referendum in 2010 on a federal takeover should the states fail to meet performance benchmarks by the middle of 2009.
The Federal Opposition has called on Mr Rudd to carry out his threat or seek a mandate to take it over.
Meantime specialist doctors providing care to more than 200-thousand people across the west of New South Wales have threatened to walk off the job on Friday, unless hospital management assures them they'll be paid on time.
NSW Health minister John Della Bosca says a 1.8 million dollar payroll would be put through overnight.
It is generally felt any takeover could prove an expensive option, more so when the country is caught in an international economic crisis.