Last week, NSW Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord called for an external investigation into the Murrumbidgee Local Health Districts (MLHD), following attempts to cut Griffith and Temora hospitals without telling staff or government.
A by-election in the state seat of Murray is coming up, so we found out whether parties likely to stand a candidate support the MLHD inquiry calls.
No response to a question from either Adrian Piccoli’s office or the Deputy Premier’s office on where the Nationals support calls for an external investigation into the MLHD.
NSW Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord said in a statement:
NSW Labor has called on the State Government to conduct an independent external investigation into the decision-making processes and the finances within the Murrumbidgee Local Health District.
Mr Secord made the call after community outcry over a number of decisions to slash services in the region.
Mr Secord pointed to the attempted closure of the maternity services at Temora Hospital and the failed decision to cut pathology services at Griffith Base Hospital. These decisions were made without proper community consultation.
He said were also concerns about budget black-holes; cost over-runs and cuts to smaller hospital services within the local health district.
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (MLA Robert Borsak)
“Given the conga line of issues we’ve seen in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District I agree that it warrants a public inquiry. People deserve answers.
“The Temora Hospital cuts came soon after the back-flip on cuts to the pathology department at Griffith Hospital, so it looks like it’s the same cut-back shoved elsewhere.
“If the Minister’s claim that he knew nothing about these cuts is true, then why and how can a public servant unilaterally close a vital rural health service?
“When the State Government is building billion dollar projects in Sydney I cannot fathom how a Hospital’s operating theatre can be closed because nobody can afford to fix the air-conditioning.
“Clearly we have a Liberal Party Government focused only on the city, and the National Party are powerless or unwilling to stand up for the bush.”
Helen Dalton (possible Independent candidate)
“I support the inquiry into the MLHD as it is well overdue.
“There needs to be clarification of the minimum level of services required for district and base hospitals and then it should be mandatory that appropriate funding and staff be provided to support these services.”
“Although there is a name change in hospitals i.e. districts, base etc, the criteria shouldn’t change the best possible outcomes for the patient. After all, that is what hospitals are for.”
“The inquiry is important also to establish the importance of good financial and strategic planning and governance outcomes”.
“Transparency of all these processes within the MLHD along with better communication is imperative to optimise health outcomes for regional rural NSW”.