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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Coalition government’s Bronwyn Taylor fails to deliver citing "data". What data Minister?


Dear Minister,

You said :“What I have to do is….look at the facts and look at the data, and what it’s telling us at the moment is that data isn’t there to support that Radiotherapy Unit. Now, is that going to change into the future? I would say perhaps…” (ABC-SE, ”Breakfast”, 05/10/22)

The above statement was made after the public announcement of a regional Petition to NSW Parliament, signed by 5,300 supporters, appealing to the current government to apply for dedicated funding already set aside and specifically pledged to it for Local Radiotherapy Services, and for it to be incorporated into the planning for the new Eurobodalla Level 4 Regional Hospital.

At the precise moment of writing we have just returned from a round trip of 480kms taking an elderly neighbour by car to Wollongong for a postponed cancer treatment: With an elderly husband unable to drive she faced an otherwise exhausting trip alone by bus. There is a strong possibility the treatment will be cancelled once again, meaning yet another entire repeat cycle of the above experience.

Minister, if it was your own elderly mother would you accept for her to go through such unnecessary hardship when locally available treatment would make such an obvious positive difference and make the whole unpleasant experience so much more tolerable? And, as if there was room for any further doubt, at the same moment we have just learned from a cancer survivor friend that his wife has also just had a diagnosis of mid-stage breast cancer, returning that household to a situation of stress and uncertainty they themselves had only just recently emerged from.

Yet, Minister, at the behest and the prompting of NSW Health for whom, just like the grossly overdue Level 4 Regional Hospital, this represents a highly inconvenient can of worms administratively, you continue to insist despite the evidence before your very own eyes that “the data isn’t there”. What data?... You are putting your entire confidence in an organisation that has bedded down a 10-year Clinical Services Plan based on population data our community has discovered is nine (9) years out of whack. In terms of Duty of Care, this borders on Negligence.

It is not a question of an NSW Health department in a pique trying to save face by showing it will not yield to overwhelming public sentiment and/or reality on the ground. In case it (and you) had forgotten, which our community hasn’t because of cancer’s pervasive presence amongst us, it is about SAVING LIVES!

Minister, what do you want us to say to the above neighbours; to the five thousand three hundred signatories: and to the whole community in the Seat of BEGA about your response to their overwhelming plea for Radiotherapy Services to be made locally available? That “the data isn’t there” and that the prospects for locally accessible Radiotherapy under your ministerial direction are shrouded in the mists of “into the future” and “perhaps”? This is pusillanimous stuff, totally refuting the image of a ‘woman of action’ your minders are busy trying to cultivate around you.

Why would there be any need for an opponent to hit the hustings in March 2023’s State Elections when one of the Coalition government’s own Ministers is delivering the death knell to the increasingly slim chance it might have ever had of winning back the Seat of Bega. Own goal again?

You said in Parliament on 24 November last year “Let us put patients before politics”. We could not agree more.

Fitzroy & Mylène Boulting,

Head Petitioners, One New L4 Regional Eurobodalla Hospital Advocates Group.

Above: Has the Minister for Women, Minister for Regional Health, and Minister for Mental Health, Deputy Leader of The Nationals kicked an own goal with her statement "look at the facts and look at the data, and what it’s telling us at the moment is that data isn’t there to support that Radiotherapy Unit". What data Minister? Show us your numbers. . The Hon. Bronnie Taylor, during her inaugural speech to NSW Parliament said: "I have not long built my career in politics. I have built my career in health. I am a proud nurse. Nursing is a profession I love and I will miss. There is nothing more rewarding than being a nurse. The privilege of patients and families allowing you into their lives when at their most vulnerable is a true honour. I have seen the best and the worst of government in health. At its worst, government imposes policy upon communities that simply does not fit. At its best, government partners with communities to assist in solving their health issues. A great example of this has been the devolution of decision-making to a network of local health district boards and allowing the community a voice at the highest levels. Being part of a health board has indicated to me that this is a valuable model that is working. Consultation has become meaningful, rather than simply ticking boxes. Other areas of government could perhaps have something to learn from this health model."

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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