MP vows to fight for health funding

A COFFS Coast politician has vowed to pressure the Federal Government for more health funding, following a report that revealed the North Coast Area Health Service (NCAHS) is almost $10 million in debt.

NSW Health has admitted to owing creditors more than $115 million, with Fairfax reporting NCAHS's debt as $9 million.

The news has cast the hospital service as being in crisis in the same week that NSW Premier Nathan Rees reportedly asked the Federal government for $2.5 billion to rebuild the State's hospitals.

That's money that Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker claims he will work to secure.

“Local hospitals are all in need of help to ensure that local people can receive the health services they need in their own communities and without having to travel long distances to regional centres,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“The longer maintenance and upgrading is delayed, the greater the likelihood that the cost of fixing the problems will become too great and the State Government will respond by closing the facilities on the grounds of cost.”

Mr Hartsuyker said the local area was in danger of seeing health services reduced to “third-world levels”.

“We know from reports from western NSW that hospitals are running out of painkillers, staff not receiving wages and air-conditioning not working, all because the State Government isn't paying its bills,” he said.

“The performance of the NSW State Government is a betrayal of hard-working hospital staff who are left to pick up the pieces and it's a betrayal of everyone who needs to use the health service.”

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