SHADOW MINISTER TO ATTEND RURAL HEALTH INQUIRY MEETING IN LISMORE

LISMORE residents will have the chance to share their experiences of local healthcare at a public hearing that will be live-streamed from Lismore today which will be attended by the Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park and local MP Janelle Saffin.
LISMORE residents will have the chance to share their experiences of local healthcare at a public hearing that will be live-streamed from Lismore today which will be attended by the Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park and local MP Janelle Saffin. 

This landmark inquiry that focuses on hospitals and health care across rural and regional NSW has to date heard damning evidence pointing to a health system in crisis and in urgent need of prioritising especially for those living outside the major cities.  

Yesterday at Taree, the hearing heard from local residents who described the situation as “atrocious” and that they were in “dire straits”. Testimony was given that Manning Lakes Hospital has 18 beds in the ED however only 9 are funded to be used.

The Upper House inquiry has already heard damning evidence about:  

Hospitals regularly running out of antibiotics A patient who had to pick up a suture kit on the way to a hospital to mend their lacerated forehead A hospital cook was required to look after patients because nurses were too busy. 3 operating theatres being used for storage Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park said the hearings have highlighted the desperate need for more support and resources.

“The health inquiry has provided significant evidence surrounding the healthcare crisis impacting NSW,” Mr Park said.

“There have been over 700 submissions made to this inquiry but nothing is more powerful and heartbreaking than hearing the personal accounts of people who are working tirelessly through overtime to provide quality care, or hearing from patients and their loved ones who’ve struggled to get access to what most of us would describe as basic level of health care.

“This Government’s neglect when it comes to healthcare is obvious and must be addressed.”

State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin said the Government needed to understand the level of community concern and give rural health funding a high priority in next week’s NSW Budget.    

“The Government needs to realise the full extent of this crisis and respond accordingly,” Ms Saffin said.

“My own community is telling me and others that they need additional staff in our local hospital, enhanced resources and access to better health services locally,” Ms Saffin said.

“The Nationals, backed by the Liberals, made an election commitment in February 2019 to deliver 284 extra nurses and midwives, 32 doctors, 38 allied health staff, and 50 hospital support workers across the Lismore Electorate during this current Parliamentary term. Where is the proof of action?  
“This Government’s 2021-22 NSW Intergenerational Report states that one third of the NSW population lives in regional areas, but we certainly don’t see one third of the State’s health budget spent here in the regions.”  

Labor’s representatives on the committee are Greg Donnelly and Walt Secord.

The parliamentary inquiry will be in the Auditorium, Lismore Workers Club, Lismore.

WEDNESDAY, 17 JUNE 2021

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