The Irrigator letters to the editor, August 15, 2017.

Opposition on MIA health system

On behalf of the NSW Labor Opposition, we are proud to support rural and regional patients, their families, doctors, nurses, and health and hospital workers in the face of massive cuts by the NSW National Party.

The attacks on Griffith Base Hospital are part of a well-orchestrated plan to downgrade Griffith Base Hospital and other regional facilities.

Unfortunately, the Nationals only have two approaches to health in rural and regional areas: cut services or privatise them.

The decision by the Nationals to try to close Griffith Base Hospital’s human tissue – histopathology – service was absolutely unfair.

This is the latest example of the Liberal-National State Government slashing health and hospital services in rural and regional areas.

It comes on the back of downgrading of many other services at Griffith Base Hospital including kitchen, laundry, radiology and sterilisation services.

It is clear that the National Party has a plan to rapidly strip Griffith Base Hospital of essential health and hospital services.

Griffith Hospital is a rural and regional hospital under enormous pressure with its emergency department treating around 20,000 patients a year. The Nationals should be increasing services there; not cutting them.

It does not make sense to close services at Griffith Base Hospital.

Cutting services will affect patients and the treatment provided by doctors.

There was a time when the Nationals stood up for rural and regional patients. Sadly that is no longer the case.

Finally, NSW Labor pays tribute to community members who are fighting this closure and support their decision to raise the matter with the NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard on August 17 when the State Cabinet and Premier are scheduled to visit.

NSW Labor calls on Mr Hazzard to stop the attacks on Griffith Base Hospital.

Hon Walt Secord, NSW Shadow Minister for Health.

ALP seize opportunity to criticise Coalition

Its great to see that Griffith community won the battle, to keep pathology services within Griffith Base Hospital.

Well done and stand up for health services we desperately need in this town.

OPPOSITION: NSW shadow health minister and his constituents write letters critical of the government's handling of Griffith Base Hospital, but fail to mention Leeton's issues.

OPPOSITION: NSW shadow health minister and his constituents write letters critical of the government's handling of Griffith Base Hospital, but fail to mention Leeton's issues.

We, members of ALP Griffith Branch strongly support public rally and will be attending it.

Its astonishing that nobody is actually saying, why is this happening to our hospital and who is calling shots.

Well its NSW Coalition Liberal /National government who is downgrading services in hospitals across rural and regional NSW, with its officiasl policy of "private-public partnership".

In 2015 during NSW election campaign, as NSW Country Labor Candidate I have warned people of Murray and partricularly medical staff in Griffith Base Hospital, that only NSW Labor government under Luke Foley as Premier of NSW, will gurantee their jobs and level of services in all rural and regional hospitals.

I am repeating that commitment now, as we just have had NSW Labor Conference in Sydney on 29 and 30th of July, where Luke Foley repeated our policy not to privatise any units within public hospitals in NSW.

​NSW Labor Conference also supported Australian Labor Party Griffith Branch Motion, which is calling on NSW government, "to establish Rural and Regional Public Health Facilities Fund from proceeds of Electricity Network sale.

Conference calls for an urgent upgrade of Griffith Base Hospital,as one of the main regional hospitals in NSW,with 50 million investment required to be secured from the Fund".

Mirsad Max Buljubasic, Secretary ALP Griffith Branch.