It is understood that the Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard is expected to arrive in Moruya on January 21st 2022 to "open" the newly refurbished Close Observation Unit at the Moruya Hospital.
Given that it was already "opened" in December 2021 the visit will most likely be a photo opportunity to show Ministerial support for the Liberal candidate in the Bega By-election.
The visit has been kept under wraps, most likely because of the blowback around how the State government have handled Omicron and the Premier's intention to return students to schools.
RAT kits remain a rarity in the South East adding further to the concerns parents have in seeing children returning to the classroom.
With Bega Valley LGA reporting seventy six new cases in today's figures and one hundred and forty six in the Eurobodalla LGA the Minister might also be asked to explain how the modeling of opening up regional travel over Christmas anticipated the spikes yet failed to model the impact to our already pressured health system. Following the State opening up in December to regional travel the South East has felt the impact with soaring cases.
The NSW funded Close Observation Unit has seen a shuffling of the deck chairs in Eurobodalla with the longer term rehabilitation patients being relocated to Batemans Bay hospital to free up space at Moruya and consolidate resources.
This move comes with its own problems placing pressure on already stretched patient transport crews, vehicles and rosters where it is understood that there is barely enough transport to move patients between Moruya and Batemans Bay.
The Minister is set to encounter local, informed comment that will advise him of the staffing shortfalls related to the operation of the close observation unit.
Rarely does a visit of a Minister come without bells and whistles of an announcement. It will be interesting to learn what this might be.
The Minister has already stated that he has no commitment of opening the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital at Level Four.
Above: extracts of a letter written by Minister Hazzard