OPINION: Why is the NSW Government so silent about hospital funding?

Another visit by a politician to the Riverina and yet another wait on hospital funding.

It’s been years since the idea of a new hospital was proposed, months since its been open and still, it’s far from finished.

The Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital (WWRRH) was always going to be rolled out in stages and fair enough for such a big project.

But it’s like pulling teeth to get the government to commit to funding the next stage.

Committing to supporting a project and actually allocating the funds are two very different things and we only seem to be seeing action taken on one of them.

NSW Premier Glady Berejiklian visited Wagga this week and announced funding for numerous projects and schools around the region, which is fantastic.

But when pressed by the mayor, she became tight-lipped on when we can expect to see a cent for the next stage of the hospital.

The NSW Premier has also visited Griffith three times in the past three months, but details on a new base hospital are still lacking. 

Cr Conkey made a good point about the Wagga hospital not just serving Wagga but towns surrounding it – including Griffith given the inadequate services at its base hospital – hence adding to the importance of the completion.

The Premier said she supported the hospital and looked forward to its next stage. Well, it could happen if your government put some money toward it.

First of all, can we please commend Greg Conkey for pressing the pollies on the big issues?

For recognising where in our city needs funding – health care – and putting those in charge to task on it. But how much longer will residents need to wait?

We are thrown a few measly dollars now and then to placate us but real commitment is hard to come by.

We can do without the fancy building and surrounding gardens but we want to know that all the units, such as mental health, paediatrics and X-ray, are up to scratch.

It’s not so much the infrastructure, although it would be nice if the building was finished and the debris was cleaned up. It’s the peace of mind knowing that there are enough nurses to cater to each ward and enough services to respond to the demand.

Wagga residents can sit around and wait for new roads, parks and recreation facilities but we shouldn’t be left waiting for health care.

And if Ms Berejiklian cannot give us answers on when it will be completed, then who can? Politicians always bang on about how resources are needed in the bush but where’s the commitment?