The first post of ONE - One New Eurobodalla Hospital was on Facebook on 21st August 2018.
“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.”
Dr Michael Holland told the Beagle "This followed concerns from residents of the Eurobodalla regarding Accident & Emergency, Critical Care and Perioperative services in the Eurobodalla and commenced the process of lobbying for a new regional base hospital in the Eurobodalla with equal level of services to South East Regional Hospital and Goulburn Base Hospital."
"It resulted in a membership of over 3000 followers and the petition submitted to NSW Parliament on 26th October 2018 with over 3000 signatures" Dr Holland said.
The petition requested the NSW Legislative Assembly direct the Minister for Health to;
Provide immediate improvement to the Accident & Emergency, Critical Care and Perioperative services of the Eurobodalla Shire by funding and upgrading the existing infrastructure and workforce. It also called for a commitment to the funding, planning and building of one new regional hospital for the Eurobodalla Shire, located at a site providing equitable accessibility for the people of the Eurobodalla, which will provide medical services equal to those of the Regional and Base Hospitals within the Southern NSW Local Health District.
The announcement of a new Eurobodalla hospital was made by the NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, and the local member for Bega, Mr Andrew Constance, on 31st October 2018.
Above: Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Dr Michael Holland and Member for Bega Andrew Constance - 31st October 2018
VIDEO: 31st October 2018 - Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Member for Bega Andrew Constance announce $150 million new hospital boost for Eurobodalla - at Quarry Wharf, Moruya October 31st 2018
The ONE - One New Eurobodalla Hospital group continued to lobby State, Federal and local representatives and candidates in the lead up to the State and Federal elections.
So where are we now after 12 months?
The funding of $150 million was listed in the 2019 NSW State budget. The Budget funding may not be released before 2023.
The Clinical Services Plan for Eurobodalla Health Services was submitted to the NSW Ministry for Health in July 2019. This is the first step in Planning, Design and Delivery of a new regional Eurobodalla hospital.
So far there is no news on the site of the new hospital or a date for commencement. Dr Holland said "We cannot wait until 2023 to get started on this project which is already 20 years overdue. The Federal election resulted in $3 million dollars' commitment to a full head space service in the Eurobodalla and $9 million dollars for the Triple Care Farm drug and alcohol rehabilitation unit.
"There has been a pre-election commitment of the Federal Liberal National Parties to providing a radiation oncology service in the Eurobodalla as part of over $60 million funding for radiation therapy in 13 regional areas.
"Positively, Tresillian early childhood services are actively lobbying NSW Government departments to provide a mobile service to the South Coast.
"However, there has been no response to the first part of the petition requesting improved Emergency,Critical Care or Perioperative services despite an Agency for Clinical Innovation of NSW Health review in March 2017."
"The nursing staff, medical staff and most importantly patients struggle on in an inadequate Accident & Emergency department in Moruya.
"There has been no improvement in Critical Care & Perioperative services to deal with critically ill and complex medical and surgical patients."
Dr Holland said "These improvements are necessary now and regardless of the new regional hospital.'" "The SNSWLHD has lost its Chief Executive Officer after less than 2 years, leaving the region rudderless at this critical time in its development. There is a need for strong leadership and governance during the establishment of a large new regional hospital to develop the increased level of services and maintain the positive culture of our current workforce."
"So there has been a start. There is a long way to go before the finish. But let’s celebrate! Put your safari suits and kaftans on. Let’s have a Don’s Party on Wednesday and be like Don Chipp – “Keep the bastards honest”