THE push to fill a gaping hole in orthopaedic services in Griffith continues, with local member Adrian Piccoli entering talks with surgeons.
His most recent meeting was with the national co-ordinator of the Australian Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons, where they discussed what can be done to address the issue.
The meeting follows his controversial outburst in July last year about the state of orthopaedic services in Griffith and surrounding areas.
At the time he claimed Wagga orthopaedic surgeons were blocking attempts by Murrumbidgee Local Health Network (MLHN) to recruit a specialist surgeon to Griffith, something they vehemently denied.
“I’ve had a few different meetings with them now and I’ve made it clear that it’s not right that a city as big as Griffith hasn’t got an orthopaedic surgeon,” he said.
“Until now there hasn’t been much progress on finding a solution for Griffith.
“But our towns deserve many of the healthcare services that are taken for granted in larger communities such as Wagga and Albury.
“We are not asking for services that extend to brain surgery or heart transplants but we do expect that when a child breaks a leg during a soccer match that they be treated at their local hospital.”
Mr Piccoli said during the latest meeting he asked for an assurance that proactive steps were being taken to assure orthopaedic services are distributed fairly across NSW.
“There is no orthopaedic service between Wagga and Broken Hill – a distance of almost 1000 km. In Wagga there are six orthopaedic surgeons while in Griffith, a community that is half the size of Wagga, there are no surgeons,” he said.
“This inequity makes me, and the community, annoyed.
“I am constantly told of stories where young children break bones in Griffith or Leeton or Narrandera – they then have to spend an agonising drive to Wagga for orthopaedic services.
“On top of that, they are required to travel back and forward to Wagga for follow-up care. As the parent of two young kids I feel the frustrations and in many cases the anger that parents experience when incidents like this occur.”
The Australian Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons has agreed to consider ways in which the geographical reach of orthopaedic services can be better expanded, and will provide feedback.