Upper house opposition spokesperson for the north coast, Walt Secord, has indicated the health department is considering the controversial Mullumbimby Hospital overnight telehealth scheme as a pilot that could be replicated around rural and regional NSW.
Under the scheme, the doctor at Mullumbimby Hospital would be replaced from 11pm to 7am with a video link operated by a nurse to doctors at Tweed Hospital.
Mr Secord said this morning that the plan had been confirmed to him during an upper house estimates hearing.
‘The minister’s locking in behind it very strongly and I even asked Dr Mary Foley, who’s head of the health department, if they’re looking at rolling it out across the state and she said Yes,’ he told ABC radio.
Last month the CEO of the Northern NSW Local Health District ruled out the continuation of the telehealth service beyond a trial period if nurses were not happy with the system.
Nurses and doctors at the hospital, together with local residents, have consistently opposed the plan.