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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle


The Beagle Editor,

Recently, I held forums on local health issues in Moruya and Bega.

They were attended by over 60 members of the general community as well as local doctors, nurses, midwives and other health workers.

It was a distressing experience to hear the despair of these constituents concerning the current health system.

It reinforced my decision to take up this role as the local Member for Bega in the NSW Parliament.

The Bega electorate has 3,500 residents with a history of cancer.

There are 8,000 people with a mental health condition.

There are 27,000 cases of arthritis, asthma, diabetes and heart disease shared by many individuals.

There are more than 11,000 children under the age of 14 years.

But how many GPs, specialists, nurses, midwives and allied health workers do we have?

Certainly less than we have lost.

Specifically, the attendees at the forums identified the mal-distribution of paediatric, psychiatric and geriatric services.

They noted the reliance on FIFO locums who are being employed at great expense and without the provision of outpatient consulting or elective surgery.

They noted that out of area local health districts are being funded to provide services which are or should be available locally.

Most disturbing was the feedback from staff who reported that they were “scarcely maintaining services” and that the system was “poisonous” and “going backwards”.

They commented that there was “chaos”, “disorganisation” and “lack of cohesion”.

There has been resignation after resignation due to the sense of ingratitude, lack of care, and from being overworked, unsupported and under-resourced.

There are repeated submissions to my office from residents who ask why do they have to birth in Canberra, why are antenatal clinics being closed and why are they being referred outside the coastal health network.

I have received submissions regarding the lack of the most basic rights such as the right to good continence, dementia and cancer care.

Work has not commenced on the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital, nor have the final bed numbers and models of care been released.

Any criticism on health services is invariably denounced as politicising the issue.

This is not a personal politically motivated critique of the NSW Government.

These are the experiences of the community which I have been elected to represent.

I cannot be an apologist for this Government’s neglect and failure on health care in my electorate.

I have met last week with Ryan Park, Shadow Minister for Health and representatives of the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association to discuss negotiations towards safe working models in our local hospitals.

Our community participants identified the need for State and Federal consultation to resolve the issues of lack of GP access, workforce recruitment and retention.

With the NSW Shadow Minister for Health, Ryan Park, and our local Federal representatives, Kristy McBain and Fiona Phillips, I will work on these issues.

In the next two weeks I will be attending the AMA National Conference and the National Rural Health Conference to hear from and to share our needs with national health workers. Dr Michael J Holland MP

Member for Bega


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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