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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Perrottet and Hazzard: Moruya Visit : Please explain

This Friday will see the NSW Premier and his Minister for Health arrive in Moruya as they do the electioneering rounds in the lead up to the March 2023 election. The speculation at this stage, given that The Beagle is not invited to Liberal press calls, is that the pair will open the new new extension to the Moruya Accident and Emergency at the Moruya Hospital. Or they might instead choose to line up for a photo shoot with silver spades in hand to turn of sod at the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital site. Whatever their choice it is clear that the visit is electioneering and designed for a photo shoot or four. Hazzard isn't standing again but that won't alter his rhetoric as he stands behind his Premier respectfully nodding at everything the Premier says. In December 2022 the Member for Bega, Dr Michael Holland said “I’ve been informed that the new extension to the Moruya Accident and Emergency is ready to go but they don’t have the staff to open”

“This government like to point out the number of hospitals they’ve built, but it seems there are never enough staff to make them functional. Our hardworking healthcare professionals are the ones that provide lifesaving care and this government have not supported them.” “This government is obsessed with ribbon cutting at shiny new buildings but they have failed to ensure there are sufficient staff to provide the critical services the community needs.” In balance a spokesperson for SNSWLHD said in response that the new extension at Moruya Emergency Department was still under construction and it would be unsafe to staff it with health workers until work was complete.

It was communicated that the final fit out was underway including installation of patient monitoring equipment, data and electrical points, furniture and storage and that the expansion was due to open in early 2023. Should the Premier and Minister for Health be here to open the facility, as forecast, they will most likely have to answer to the elephant in the room regarding the staffing of the facility, given understaffing and housing shortages high lighted by local healthcare workers. The Pair will also need to take questions on their failure to deliver maternity services to the South East In the seven months since the resignation of the sole obstetrician & gynaecologist from the South East Regional Hospital, Bega, maternity services have been left without specialist obstetric cover.

It is understood that women in labour are now expected to present to Moruya District Hospital for birthing services.

Member for Bega, Dr Michael Holland says on the issue "It is not good enough that after 12 years of Liberal National Government, we have a situation where women in labour have to drive more than an hour from the Milton-Ulladulla area to Moruya because the current Government closed local maternity services.

"It is not good enough that a level 3-4 capability hospital which delivers 280 babies per year and has specialist paediatric services must send women in labour at least an hour and a half to birth in Moruya District Hospital which lacks specialist paediatric services

"Over the past 12 years, I have seen the resignation of many general practitioners and other specialists from local hospitals.

"This has reduced local services, prolonged emergency waiting times, prolonged elective surgery waiting times and increased transfer out of local hospitals to distant hospitals for treatments which should be available locally.

"This dysfunctional Government has placed the burden on the struggling nurses, midwives and other health workers who have been pushed to their limits.

"Women and babies from Milton-Ulladulla to the Victorian border should not have to face lack of maternity, paediatric and women’s health services because of the failure of this Government". It will be interesting, if the Premier and Minister for Health still continue with their Moruya visit, to see how they answer the questions around resourcing and service provision. It might be better for them to slink off to the new Regional Hospital site, pull out the silver shovels, dig a sod for the camera in front of a select assembly of media and draft a media statement that suggests how much the current government is achieving for the region.

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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