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It is TIME for ONE Regional Hospital : Public meeting this Saturday October 6th

It is TIME for ONE Regional Hospital : Public meeting this Saturday October 6th The community are invited to a public meeting this coming Saturday, October 6th at 2:30pm in the Moruya Golf Club auditorium to hear speakers discuss the future of our two lower-key hospitals and recognise the need for the region to be serviced by One Regional Hospital for improvement in Accident & Emergency, Critical Care and Perioperative Services. Convenors of the meeting believe it is time to get some action on this critical issue.. With the Bega electorate now identified as having the oldest median age in the State of NSW and fast becoming a retirement area for metropolitan seachangers the demands on our health system are building. There is a groundswell of community support of those who question the continued need to travel outside the region for specialist treatments, renewing the focus to establish ONE central, regional hospital of a calibre to take the Eurobodalla into the next century.

Michael Holland, one of the speakers at the upcoming public meeting told The Beagle "The equitable provision of medical services to our community is a complex and expensive responsibility for our governments. "Locally this requires equal access to care for the population from south of Narooma to Batemans Bay in the north without costly and clinically inefficient duplication of services.The recent argument concerning the need for a second CT scanner at Batemans Bay Hospital and now a second MRI machine is a divisive and diversionary strategy by both political parties which ignores the genuine problems and solutions for the future improvement in the local hospital system. "The demand for a second CT scanner and a second MRI machine is a one dimensional and clinically flawed tactic to restrain further medical development in the Eurobodalla. It is a bandaid solution to a problem that requires rational clinical investigation, diagnosis and treatment. Large areas of rural NSW work highly effectively using a hub and spoke model of services and utilising modern and efficient teleconferencing services. "As far as stroke services are concerned there already exists evidence in the Hunter New England region which does not rely on CT scanners or MRI machines in hospitals twenty minutes apart.A new state of the art MRI machine would cost at least $3 million plus the expense of housing the new unit. How many nurses could be employed with $3 million? "I ask the people of the Eurobodalla to look at the map of New South Wales. Drive from the Queensland border to the Victorian border and see if there are any models of health service that rely on two hospitals twenty minutes apart. In fact there are large regional hospitals approximately every two hours until the Shoalhaven after which the Eurobodalla is overlooked until Bega. "Drive to the south and inspect the new South East Regional Hospital and consider the potential improvement to the level and quality of services if a single regional Eurobodalla hospital was developed.The combined numbers of services at Batemans Bay and Moruya hospitals are equal to or outnumber those of established regional or base hospitals.There is no possibility of increased service capabilities or role delineation for either hospital without a combination of resources. "Without an increase in these resources there will be no ability to attract specialist medical,surgical,anaesthetic or nursing practitioners.This pork barrelling is populist medico political polemic which will further delay long term expansion of health services to the entire Eurobodalla population.There needs to be a rational debate on this serious and complex issue with representation from our local politicians in order to steer the Eurobodalla health services from parochialism to something for the greater good of the region. "Members of the Eurobodalla community are currently active in supporting the development of One New Eurobodalla Hospital via a Facebook page. Please add your support. The ONE- One New Eurobodalla Hospital Face Book group ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/287542338693094/) has seen a recent surge in the number of members with over 2327 members. While there have been discussions on that page the convenors of the meeting are well aware that there is a need to embrace and include the wider community and do so via a public meeting inviting speakers from all tiers of government as well as from Southern Health and local medical practitioners.

A change.org petition is now on-line and a formal petition to the NSW Legislative Assembly is being drafted which will be presented at Saturday’s Eurobodalla Health Expo in Batemans Bay and at the Our Towns Our Say meeting in Moruya. You can sign the Change.org petition here: http://bit.ly/OneHospitalEurobodalla

The Mission of ONE - One New Eurobodalla hospital group is to promote the development of a single new health facility for the citizens of the Eurobodalla.

By their division of resources, Eurobodalla health services are disadvantaged relative to our nearest Regional and Base hospitals.

Uniting residents from north of Batemans Bay to south of Narooma, we support the concept of equitable access to improved Emergency, Critical Care, Surgical and Obstetric services.

Increasing service capability and role delineation of a single new hospital will result in the attraction, maintenance and sustainability of general practitioners, specialist medical services, nursing and allied health staff.

One New Eurobodalla hospital will reduce the outflow of patients to services remote from their families.

ONE supports the improvement in Emergency, Critical Care and Perioperative services immediately and during the transition to a single new hospital.

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