Minister to get hospital message
THE State Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt will be left in now doubt about the Bellingen community’s support for its district hospital after a meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Bellingen Mayor, Councillor Mark Troy, said he will impress upon the minister that the community will not tolerate any further downgrading of the hospital.
“At the minimum what I would like to come from the meeting is a commitment by the minister, her department and the Area Health Service for meaningful consultation with the community in regards to the future of the Bellingen Hospital,” Cr Troy said.
The mayor will be joined by his deputy, Cr Kerry Child, council general manager Mike Colreavy, Bellingen Health Action Group member Jaki Lockyer and the Member for Oxley, Andrew Stoner, for Wednesday morning’s meeting.
Jaki Lockyer is also hoping the minister will give unequivocal assurances that in the future Bellinger Valley residents won’t have to drive to Coffs Harbour for hospital services.
“With many residents living much further than the quoted 30 minutes’ drive from Coffs Harbour Base, it is important for Bellingen Shire to maintain this facility,” Ms Lockyer said.
The Coffs Coast Advocate will report on the outcomes from Wednesday’s meeting in Thursday’s edition.