BHAG calls to halt govt changes

THERE has been a call for NSW Health to halt its statewide review of acute services in public hospitals.

The review was an outcome of the Garling Report, but in light of the Federal Government’s new multi-billion dollar health deal the Bellingen Health Action Group (BHAG) wants it scrapped.

That was the message BHAG delegates sent directly to the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Dr Andrew Southcott, during a meeting in Bellingen last week.

Barb Moore, Fiona Crosskill and Solveig Larsen joined Dr Deidre Little and Bellingen’s mayor and general manager, Councillors Mark Troy and Mike Colreavy at the meeting.

Solveig Larsen said the group told Dr Southcott about their fears for the downgrading of services at the Bellinger River District Hospital in light of instances of the North Coast Area Health Service misrepresenting reporting statistics and using an amalgamation model to jointly manage it and the Macksville Hospital.

“We asked Dr Southcott and his coalition colleagues to nowpush the Federal and State governments to define the principles that will govern the transition to the new health model and to call for the delineation of staff numbers and service within the Area Health Service,” Ms Larsen said.

“We also asked him to call for a halt to all significant changes to hospital, primary health and aged care funding and staff numbers until the new Federal Government arrangements come into effect.”

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