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Local Radiotherapy centre: A Scarlet Pimpernel

Dear Editor,

We are extremely surprised by the news that the Federal Minister for Health asserted on WIN NEWS Illawarra on May 4th that the Eurobodalla radiation Oncology project was already funded and underway.



Above: it appears that Minister Hunt has no idea that NSW Health Bureaucrats have no intention of delivering the funding he claims to have provided for a radiology facility in the South East. Is this a case of the tail not only wagging the dog but also making a mockery of the Minister for Health by allowing him to publicly embarrass himself on National TV.

We are also very concerned and disappointed to see the aspersions cast on the character and probity of both our local and federal Members and the NSW Shadow Minister for Health, as we ourselves were similarly treated back on 11th February 2022 courtesy of Minister Hazzard (for which we have asked and expect an apology).

On 13th April 2022, a meeting took place at Batemans Bay hospital between a ONE New L4 Eurobodalla Hospital Advocates led community team and executives from the SNSWLHD.

Amongst a range of healthcare topics, One Advocates specifically asked whether SNSWLHD were willing to reconsider their decision not to go ahead with the provision of local Radiotherapy services.

The answer from the senior executive in attendance was vehemently clear: the decision was not to be revisited, and there was no new information to add. End of story? ONE Advocates’ immediate response was to launch the new “local Access to Radiotherapy” Petition.

Between Federal Minister Hunt and his NSW State counterpart there would appear to be some degree of confusion on this issue.

It is quite surprising that, at the very same moment, a State government Dept., in this case NSW Health, can be running with an agenda that is in complete contradiction of, if not in direct conflict with, the directives of both Federal and State Ministers, noting they both subscribe to the same political party and we should assume are on the same page.

Obviously, this raises the question whether the project that Minister Hunt, somewhat at the 11th hour, has stated is going ahead actually will be, and what solid assurance could the community possibly now derive from any further “promises” made to it by he, or his counterpart - doubtless with utmost integrity?

We note the recent commitment of the Federal Member, Fiona Phillips MP, to the funding of a local radiotherapy centre (and linear accelerator); she has been one of the earliest supporters of the fight for a proper hospital in our region going back years, speaking up when it counted, and we have no reason to doubt her absolute sincerity and determination on this issue.

Fitzroy and Mylene Boulting, ONE New L4 Eurobodalla Hospital Advocates.

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