Save Griffith base hospital committee president Jenna Woodland has warned against complacency in the wake of NSW Health’s stunning backflip on downgrading our hospital’s pathology services.
Ms Woodland have been inundated by media over the past 24 hours, with even popular Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones showing interest in a mass rally planned for August 12 to protest continual downgrades of Griffith base hospital.
“We have won this round, but the battle is far from over,” Ms Woodland said.
“It was a great win, but all we did was reverse a decision that never should have been made in the first place”.
“We have one full-time surgeon for a hospital that services 80,000 people. We don’t have sterilisation supplies and radiology has been downgraded.”
Ms Woodland is continuing to plan details for an 11am rally at Memorial Park, Banna Ave, Griffith on August 12.
She has invited a number of politicians, doctors and patients to speak at an event expected to last an hour. A petition will be organised.
Anyone who can assist in helping organise the rally or donate can contact Ms Woodland by email at email@example.com.
Griffith mayor John Dal Broi said the community should be congratulated for their efforts in retaining the hospital’s vital histopathology service.
"When Dr Jaya and Dr Hopp turned to social media to vent their concerns and frustrations, the Griffith community - Council included - rallied to show the powers that be what this decision would mean for Griffith," said Councillor Dal Broi.
"Council were adamant in their support of Dr Jaya and Dr Hopp and reinforced this with a resolution of Council at the meeting held on 25 July. I would like to congratulate and thank them for their efforts in ensuring NSW Health heard their message."
Following the announcement, the Mayor held lengthy discussions with Jill Ludford, Chief Executive of Murrumbidgee Local Health District, Tracey McCosker, Chief Executive of NSW Health Pathology, and Neil Catlett, Director of Regional and Rural Pathology Operations - NSWHP.
"Jill Ludford and I will now meet on a regular basis to discuss hospital issues and to ensure we are on the front foot of any possible decisions or problems into the future," he said.
"Council is committed to ensuring services are not only retained, but enhanced for the benefit of our community."
Ms Woodland echoed these sentiments.
“We also need orthopedics, ophthalmology, urology, social workers and better psychiatry. The elderly and socially disadvantaged cannot be expected to travel two to four hours to reach these services, ” she said.
“We need to be expanding, not cutting back. That’s the message we must give politicians Saturday week”.
“Our rally message is: dismantle our hospital, and we’ll dismantle your seat”.
On Wednesday, NSW Health Pathology announced its secretive decision to shut down Griffith’s histopathology service will be reversed.
NSW Patholoogy said in a statement “we’ve listened to the Griffith community including representations from local MP Adrian Piccoli and the local council and will no longer proceed with proposed changes to our histopathology service at Griffith Base Hospital.”
“This means histopathology samples collected from patients at Griffith will continue to be tested and diagnosed at our Griffith lab by our on-site staff.”
“We want to reassure the community our pathology lab at Griffith Hospital remains open and we recently enhanced our services at Griffith by adding rapid flu testing in July. We respect the community’s voice and remain committed to providing high quality care for patients in the Griffith region.”
Ms Woodland had earlier called restoring pathology services “a referendum on Adrian Piccoli’s representation”.
Some 95 per cent of respondents a poll by the The Area News poll said they would vote against Mr Piccoli if the decision was not changed.