The era of COVID has changed the way that we interact and communicate.
Logging in, Zoom meetings and masks influence our daily lives.
The public’s political voice, including petitions which were previously collected by hand at businesses and local markets, has been muffled behind personal protective equipment.
Until further notice of lockdown or stay at home rules, the SNSWLHD is holding Eurobodalla Health Service Community Information Sessions in Moruya, Narooma and Batemans Bay on the 31st August and the 1st September.
According to the Chief Executive, Margaret Bennett, our community will “learn more, hear directly, get an understanding and ask questions” regarding the new $200 million Eurobodalla hospital.
Providing information is a one way process. Communication is an exchange of information.
Our questions may be asked but will they be answered?
The vulnerability of the Eurobodalla hospital services has been exposed again and again.
Through simple fortune rather than planning, we escaped a critical casualty event in the bushfire disaster of 2019-20.
This vulnerability has always existed with the potential for multiple casualty motor vehicle or air accident.
It has existed since the Eurobodalla had the opportunity to secure a single regional level 4 hospital many years ago. An opportunity which was lost due to community parochialism and political cowardice.
The threat will not go away. COVID and its variants are here to stay and others wait in the pathogenic queue.
Therefore a new Eurobodalla regional hospital needs to open its doors with Intensive Care services.
Our larger population including the largest aged population and largest Indigenous population both with the greatest health needs cannot rely on transfer to Bega, Goulburn or Canberra.
Not only for the immediate and future pandemic threats, Intensive Care services are the foundation of level 4 services. It reeks of sophistry and equivocation to suggest that the Eurobodalla will achieve level 4 services without them on opening.
So go to the meeting. Ask for yourself and your friends and family. For the sake of communication, channel the ABC’s Q&A program.
Is the hospital budget $60 million underfunded?
Why did the doctors in the Eurobodalla and SNSWLHD unanimously refuse to endorse the current project?
Will the new Eurobodalla regional hospital open with all beds and services available in Bega and Goulburn including paediatrics, orthopaedics and mental health?
Will the SNSWLHD develop a Coastal Network model with a regional resource centre based in SERH, the demographic, geographical and clinical equivalent of the Frankston railway station of the Far South Coast?
Listen carefully to what we are saying. Read our lips behind these masks.
For more information about the sessions please contact HI-EurobodallaHospital@health.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 6150 7339