It seems no matter who takes the reins after the state election in March, the future of Griffith Base Hospital’s redevelopment is ‘iron-clad.’
There has been $189 million allocated in the budget for hospital redevelopment, which is “ready to go,” confirmed by Deputy Premier John Barilaro.
Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord confirmed this money is “iron-cad” if Labor is elected, no matter who their candidate for Murray will be.
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Helen Dalton went one further and said if she takes over from member for Murray Austin Evans, more would be done to secure $300 million, which she says what was originally promised in 2017.
“I hope to top the money up to the promised $300 million,” Mrs Dalton said.
Mr Secord said NSW Labor would see the hospital “return to its place of glory”.
“Labor will honour all budgeted commitments for the Griffith Hospital,” Mr Secord said.
He also hit back at Mr Barilaro over comments made at the funding announcement, who said Labor had a “track record of pulling money out of regional areas.”
Mr Barilaro made clear the money could “potentially” be repurposed if any other party was elected.
“The real threat is that if [the Nationals] lost government, you don’t know what the opposition will do,” Mr Barilaro said at the time.
Mr Secord said instead it was the Member for Murray Austin Evans and Mr Barilaro who “couldn't be trusted” to deliver hospitals.
“Rather than supporting splurging billions on stadiums in Sydney, they should be fighting for their local hospital,” Mr Secord said.
Mrs Dalton said with the current difficulties experienced by the region’s farmers in the drought and the increase in suicides in our young people, “we can’t afford to wait until the election for basic and services” like orthopedics.
“I think it’s great to have bricks and mortar, but the services are paramount,” Mrs Dalton said.
“We need people on the ground for mental health services, and two orthopedic surgeons right now, and I call on the Coalition to provide them now.”
Murrumbidgee Local Health District’s Chief Executive Jill Ludford has previously said plans were “being put in action” to provide orthopedic services to Griffith.
As it stands, patients with a broken bone have to travel to either Wagga Wagga or Orange, if a fly-in fly-out doctor isn’t available at St Vincents Private Hospital because the Base has no orthopedic medical staff.
Mr Secord joined in on the resources push, and says Labor have a plan to introduce a policy delivering “additional nurses and security staff to Griffith Hospital.”
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