The Coffs Harbour Health Campus.
The Coffs Harbour Health Campus. The Coffs Coast Advocate

Pensioner Nev door knocks in protest

BONVILLE is punching above its weight in the stoush over cuts to NSW health funding.

A single street has already sent in five pages of signatures protesting the measures, thanks to Neville Edwards.

The 77-year-old North Bonville Road resident walked dozens of kilometres on Sunday knocking on doors seeking signatures on the petition, which he delivered to Coffs Harbour Nationals MP Andrew Fraser on Monday morning.

It has been reported that the Coffs Harbour Health Campus will have to shed the equivalent of 89 full time positions.

“People were incredulous,” Mr Edwards said. “They were saying practically the same things -'we want more people in the hospital rather than them cutting back'.”

Mr Edwards was one of hundreds of people who joined Mr Fraser at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus on Saturday afternoon for the Enough's Enough Protest Rally.

Neville Edwards said the petition pamphlets being distributed by the MP 'were going like hot cakes' so he thought there would be many more signatures to come.

Neville and Kay Edwards spent 'about six hours' waiting for a doctor in Coffs Harbour Base Hospital's emergency department 12 months ago after Mrs Edwards fell and injured her shoulder, so the problem was not new, Neville Edwards said.

Saturday's Coffs Harbour rally was one of five similar meetings organised by State National Party MPs throughout the North Coast to protest the health cuts.

Andrew Fraser said yesterday cuts to overtime, suggested by North Coast Area Health Service CEO Chris Crawford as a means to reduce costs, meant more operations would be cancelled and waiting lists would grow.

Mr Fraser called for immediate commitment from the government, saying he would raise local concerns about under funding in parliament this week.

“We don't need yet another internal inquiry on top of the Garling Inquiry to see how Commissioner Garling's recommendations will be implemented,” Mr Fraser said.

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