2017 will go down as the year Griffith fought back against NSW Government downgrades to our public hospital.
In a measure of how people power can bring about change, let’s have a look back at how an attempt to move our pathology services to Wagga ended with the NSW Government planning a new hospital.
Thursday July 20
NSW Health Pathology inform Griffith base hospital staff they are losing their histopathology service.
The hospital’s only pathologist is told he must move to Wagga.
There were no prior discussions or warnings
Saturday July 21
Dr Narayanan Jayachandran, the hospital’s only full-time surgeon, posts information on the above decision on social media – breaking NSW Health’s media gag.
Sunday July 22
Save Griffith Base Hospital facebook page is formed, attracting 20,000 views in 24 hours.
Our first report highlights the Griffith mayor and Griffith Business Chamber condemning the decision and vowing to fight it.
Sunday July 23
A second doctor from Griffith base hospital, Maxwell Hopp, comes out on social media to denounce the hospital downgrades.
Monday July 24
NSW Health Pathology dodge a series of questions on their decision and why is was made. They claim the downgrade will “improve” services at Griffith hospital.
Tuesday July 25
Griffith City Council passes motion to support Griffith hospital doctors who have spoken out against the downgrades.
Wednesday July 26
NSW shadow health minister condemns the hospital downgrades, and says the justification was like something out of ABC TV’s comedy show Utopia.
Thursday July 27
The Area News publishes an extraordinary letter from Griffith base hospital medical staff council condemning continual downgrades made at the hospital without consultation.
Friday July 28
NSW Health bureaucrats dodge questions posed on the allegations made in the letter.
Tracey McCosker writes letter to The Area News editor denouncing “misinformation” about the downgrades, insisting it will not alter service.
Saturday July 29
Save Griffith base hospital Facebook page announces a new committee for a rally against the hospital downgrades on August 12.
Monday July 31
The Area News invites Ms McCosker to Griffith to explain the pathology changes (given her concern about misinformation) and offer to broadcast it on Facebook so Griffith locals can ask questions.
Wednesday August 2
NSW Health Pathology issues media statement saying the decision to shut down Griffith base hospital histopathology has been reversed.
Monday August 7
Save Griffith Base Hospital Committee raises the stakes, and starts a campaign for a new hospital
Saturday August 12
Griffith holds a mass rally to demand a new hospital
Thursday August 17
A second rally is held, when protesters confront the NSW Premier and plead their case for a new hospital.
Friday August 18
NSW Government changes it’s tune, stop talking about an “upgrade” and for the first time promise a brand new hospital.
Monday September 11
MLHD and NSW Health Minisiter Brad Hazzard host a public meeting to discuss a new hospital.
Wednesday December 20
MLHD release Clinical Services Plan for a new hospital for for public comment.