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Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

Hospitals at any cost?

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We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

For all the abuse and criticism it receives on occasion we have in Australia and in this region a world-class health system. Health care comes at a substantial cost and it is essential that these costs be managed to assure the community that the correct standard of health care is available.

It is time our community had an adult conversation about our health system.

Bonalbo, which has a population of 300-odd with others scattered in outlying areas, is 68 kilometres and less than 60 minutes’ drive from Casino. How on Earth it has sustained an eight-bed hospital with 24/7 emergency facilities beggars belief. Coraki, a population of 1180 and 25 kilometres and less than 25 minutes’ drive to Lismore, 14 beds and yet again with 24/7 emergency facilities.

Mullumbimby, a population of 3,100, 19 kilometres and 21 minutes to Byron Bay Hospital, 48 kilometres and less than 60 minutes’ drive to Lismore, 28 beds with 24/7 emergency facilities.

In our immediate area we have hospitals in:

Byron Bay – 26 beds and 24/7 emergency facilities

Lismore – 197 beds and 24/7 emergency facilities

Ballina – 37 beds and 24/7 emergency facilities

Tweed – 220 beds and 24/7 emergency facilities.

Not to mention the plentiful and extensive resources available in Brisbane

Throwing our hands in the air, running around organising and attending protests and the like is not an adult contribution to managing our healthcare facilities. By any stretch of the imagination Bonalbo, Coraki and Mullumbimby should be either closed down or their function substantially modified.

Colin Clarke
Ocean Shores


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  1. I agree, Colin, we do have a world class health care system, well funded through governments of all ideological spots. Our trouble is we are led to believe we are terribly hard done by. We are not.

    Our economy is the strongest of OECD countries, our cost of living has actually reduced by 24% since 1984 and the carbon pricing scheme is going to be the international benchmark for reducing emissions. It couldn’t be introduced at a better time.

    We need to rethink our perception of what constitutes a health care system and think through taking responsibility for our own health rather than relying on the proverbial pill with no waiting period.

  2. I don’t know what your family commitments are Colin but I don’t fancy having to drive over an hour to get emergency treatment for, myself or my children.
    Over the last year mullumbimby hospital has attended to my family for a tigersnake bite a broken arm a nasty cut and hemoraghing.
    Our hospital is well used and well loved.


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