Dear Beagle Editor, The following letter to the NSW Minister for Health, the Hon Brad Hazzard in regards to the South East Regional Hospital (SERH) in Bega might be of interest to your readers as many now travel to the hospital for surgeries and treatments. To the NSW Minister for Health, the Hon Brad Hazzard,
The Bega Valley Shire Residents & Ratepayers Association (BVSRRA) calls on you to publicly explain how it is that an anaesthetist at Wollongong Hospital can be reinstated to his position, after being fired for being drunk at work & after abandoning a patient mid-operation (as reported in the media here) , while senior NSW Health bureaucrats can refuse to renew the contract of Dr Chris Phoon, an orthopaedic surgeon with an exemplary record at the new South East Regional Hospital (SERH) in Bega, allegedly because he refused to embrace the hospital’s ‘core values’: values which your own inquiry identified as being bullying, harassment, intimidation & a lack of accountability.
The BVSRRA also calls on you to publicly explain how it is that your government can initiate, conduct & complete an inquiry into the operation of the SERH, allegedly involving interviews being conducted with more than 100 people & completed in two months, but it can’t complete an inquiry into the victimisation of Dr Phoon & his family by senior NSW Health management in the same time frame.
The BVSRRA also calls on you to publicly explain at what point you, as NSW Minister for Health, will intervene to rectify the scandalous treatment visited on Dr Phoon by NSW Health & renew his contract as a first step to restoring the previous outstanding orthopaedic surgery capability at the SERH to serve the health needs of communities in the south-east of NSW.
The BVSRRA believes that, in the event that you are not willing to publicly respond to its questions & immediately intervene to correct the injustice perpetrated against Dr Phoon, then you will have abrogated your responsibility to protect the health of the people of south- east NSW & that you should resign.
We await your public response. John Richardson Secretary/Treasurer Bega Valley Shire Residents & Ratepayers Association