Andrew Fraser.
Andrew Fraser. The Coffs Coast Advocate

Garling Report fallout: MP asks for $70m for NCAHS

COFFS Harbour MP Andrew Fraser has called on the Federal and State Governments to immediately inject $70 million into the North Coast Health Service in the wake of the recent Garling Report.

"The Garling Report identified a need for an increase in funding for the NCAHS of $70 million and this amount of money would mean that the services offered in 2009/10 would only equate to the services currently being provided," Mr Fraser told the Coffs Coast Advocate.

"The only way for a continued safe service to be offered at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus and at other North Coast hospitals is for an immediate cash injection of $70 million which can be accessed by the NSW Government from the funds promised by the Rudd Labor Government.

"Anything less than this is criminal."

Mr Fraser says in the current climate he cannot accept assurances from NSW Health that frontline jobs would not be cut on the North Coast.

He believes frontline staff have already been cut at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

And he said that advice received from staff at the hospital and the Medical Staff Council clearly indicates that senior theatre staff have had their names removed from rosters for 2009 which effectively means they no longer have a job.

"I am also extremely curious as to what the Rees Government’s definition is of front line services. Any medical job, from the booking clerk to the cleaner, is in my opinion is front line service," he said.

"We have already seen the largest outbreak of VRE in Australia at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus and if cleaning staff are to be cut this would increase the risks of infection. These cuts are directives to the North Coast Area Health Service (NCAHS) by NSW Health on behalf of the Rees Labor Government. No one can point the finger at local management for these cuts."


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