In reply to a question asked by Eurobodalla Councillor Phil Constable staff advised that at the time of the publication of the agenda, Council staff have not held discussions with the NSW Government regarding possible locations of a Regional Hospital in Eurobodalla. However, it is Council’s understanding that the NSW Government are investigating options for possible locations within Eurobodalla. Councillors Constable, Mayne and McGinlay had attended a public meeting on October 6th in Moruya that was called to discuss the consideration of establishing a single, regional hospital for the Eurobodalla region. Councillor Mayne supported his fellow councillors saying this was was an importnat issue and he looked forward to further briefings from staff as to how Council might be able to advocate for the hospital. Councillor Brown offered up that it might be best to wait until the petition, due to be handed to the Member for Bega, Andrew Constance, this Friday was processed to learn of the governments position. While this was generally agreed to Councillor Constable again reminded his peers of the importance of the matter and that there was an opportunity to begin to establish how Council might move forward. He pointed out specifically how Dr Michael Holland's presentation below stated that combined, the services of Moruya District Hospital and Batemans Bay District Hospital would result in a role delineation equivalent to South East Regional Hospital & Goulburn Base Hospital. Earlier today Dr Michael Holland was interviewed by Simon Lauder on ABC South East
AUDIO: Dr Michael Holland speaking with Simon Lauderof ABC South East Radio
********************************************************************************************************************* SUBMISSION TO EUROBODALLA SHIRE COUNCIL PUBLIC FORUM TUESDAY 23rd OCTOBER 2018
DR MICHAEL JOSEPH HOLLAND
To the Mayor and Councillors of the Eurobodalla Shire Council
As a resident of the Eurobodalla, I have provided specialist Obstetric & Gynaecological services to Moruya & Batemans Bay District Hospitals for the past sixteen years.
In response to what is perceived to be a potential crisis in local health services, a social media movement was initiated two months ago calling for immediate improvement in clinical services in the Eurobodalla and development of a single new Regional or Base Hospital.
This group has attracted approximately 2,700 members and an online petition received 937 signatures in one week petitioning the NSW Minister of Health for these services.
A formal petition to the NSW Legislative Assembly is to be presented to our local member the Hon. Mr Andrew Constance this Friday 26th October.
The Eurobodalla Shire has the second largest population in the Southern NSW Local Health District, the largest aged population, with a significant estimated growth over the next ten years, and the largest indigenous population.
The population triples during holiday periods further straining services.
Our services exceed those of South East Regional Hospital Bega and Goulburn Base Hospital, hospitals which have been, or are being developed, at the cost of $187 million and $120 million respectively.
One hundred patients per month are transferred outside the region by ambulance or retrieved by aeromedical services per month. A large number of residents need to leave the area for elective services unavailable locally.
This has arisen due to the expensive, inefficient and unsustainable division of services between two hospital sites.
The separation of hospital sites results in each hospital receiving role delineation of clinical services at the same level of smaller rural hospitals such as Moree, Narrabri and Milton-Ulladulla which have already suffered loss of services.
Combined, the services of Moruya District Hospital and Batemans Bay District Hospital would result in a role delineation equivalent to South East Regional Hospital & Goulburn Base Hospital.
Our region is disadvantaged, as a consequence, with the loss of surgical services in the Eurobodalla, the lack of a central Accident & Emergency service with specialist cover, the lack of Critical Care and Intensive Care service, the lack of a local Mental Health Unit, as well as the lack of specialist physician, paediatric, anaesthetic, breast cancer and colorectal surgery services.
There is no Regional or Base Hospital in the 300 kilometres between Nowra and Bega.
The current divided role delineation does not allow for accreditation for intern and registrar training, positions which would sustain the local health service by retaining medical officers living in the region for the future.
The NSW Ministry of Health commissioned a review of Surgical and Critical Care Services by the Agency for Clinical Innovation in March 2017. This review is due for presentation on 14th November.
The Southern NSW Local Health District conducted a Eurobodalla Clinical Services Plan in March 2018. Community, medical, nursing and allied health members were consulted over a period of five days in Moruya, Batemans Bay and Narooma.
The significant findings of this review were the need for access to specialist services close to home, the need for local orthopaedic services, the integration of local services, the local availability of Intensive Care Services, inclusive services and a single central service.
I ask the Council
1 – Does it support the provision of immediate improvement to the Accident & Emergency, Critical Care and Perioperative services of the Eurobodalla Shire?
2 – Does it support the provision of one new regional hospital for the Eurobodalla Shire, located at a site providing equitable access for the residents of the Eurobodalla, which will provide medical services equal to those of the Regional and Base Hospitals within the Southern NSW Local Health District?
3 – Will the Eurobodalla Shire Council advocate for better health services for the community through representation to the NSW and Federal Governments?