Presented on behalf of Eurobodalla Labor Local government Committee and all residents of the Eurobodalla Shire who support these motions put forward by Councillor McGinlay and for the attention of all councillors of the Eurobodalla Shire.
· We support Cr McGinlay’s motion that the Council write to the Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD), requesting that a Continence Nurse is employed in this Shire as a matter of urgency.
· It is concerning that alone of all the Shires in the SNSWLHD, we have no continence nurse.
· The statistics Cr McGinlay uses in support of his motion clearly shows that a continence nurse is required to support residents of all ages in this Shire. We note that the figures provided show that incontinence is a concern for a substantial proportion of the residents of this Shire, and so is an issue which the Council needs to address.
· The lack of a continence nurse has real implications for our local economy:
o It can affect the employment choices of working age people, who can find their work choices are limited because they have continence problems.
o Older people with incontinence are often forced to use expensive services such as nursing homes or hostels if their continence issues are not treated. Most older people would much prefer to stay at home, which is also a much less expensive option than hostel or nursing home care.
o Children who are experiencing continence issues can find it difficult to take full advantage of their education, which affects their employment prospects in later life.
· The Council can support the many residents of this Shire affected by incontinence by doing all it can ensure that Eurobodalla has a well-funded and supported Continence Nurse, and Cr McGinlay’s proposal that the Council lobby our State and Commonwealth MPs as well as the Health District is a very positive step which we support.
· We support Cr McGinlay’s motion that the Council reaffirm its commitment to the development of a single, high quality hospital facility, centrally located in our shire.
· This is an issue which has a real impact in this shire. Eurobodalla is still growing rapidly, and our hospital facilities are not keeping up with this growth. This has been a concern for many years, and residents warmly welcomed the announcement by Andrew Constance in 2118 that a level 4 hospital be built in the Shire. Despite some funds being made available by the State Government, there have been few public announcements since and no mention of Federal Government funding.
· We share both Dr Holland’s and Cr McGinlay’s dismay that there appears to have been no practical action from the Council to ensure that this vital facility is made available to residents as quickly as possible.
· Another point which dismays us is no mention has been made of a timeline for the construction of this hospital. Many of our older and ill residents would like to know how much longer they have to travel long distances and have to put up with all the inconveniences associated with the present situation. A timeline is imperative.
· There needs to be real consultation with the Community about the location of the hospital, and so it is important that the Council releases information about proposed sites for this facility.
· Alongside the hospital, we need to know what services will be available in the community to support the in-patient services provided by the Hospital. We need the Council to be advocating with the State and Commonwealth Governments to ensure that we have the out-patient services which are needed to complement the services provided by the hospital.
· We need a regional hospital that is not partially a level 4 hospital. It will not be good enough for the hospital to be providing only one or two services at level 4, with a promise for more level 4 services at a later date. This Shire needs a regional hospital that provides a full range of level 4 services as soon as it is operational.
· We also need to know what will be provided at the regional hospital. Services for people who are experiencing Mental health issues, are not well provided for at present. This is only one gap in health services in this Shire. We need the Council to work with the health professionals, people who use the health services and the wider community, to ensure that the regional hospital provides the range of services the Eurobodalla Shire needs. The Council is the most appropriate body to advocate on the residents’ behalf to make sure these services are provided by the State and Commonwealth Governments.
· Big projects like these can be used to benefit political interests. This project is too important to Shire residents for this to happen with our regional hospital. We hope that Councillors are able to resist pressure from such interests, so that there are no delays, and we have a hospital and related services that meet the needs of Eurobodalla residents, and those who visit this wonderful part of Australia.
Yours sincerely, Donald MacDonald Eurobodalla Labor Local Government Committee