Almost seven years ago Thomas George delivered a passionate and eloquent defence of the Murwillumbah hospital and its fundamental service to the community (Hansard 26/06/2008). He criticised proposed cuts to the birthing unit, stating ‘If the Government wants to get anyone offside, try getting offside mothers who are about to give birth!’
Fast-forward to now and he appears to have forgotten his own advice. Forcing expectant mothers in the Murwillumbah region to travel to Tweed to deliver their babies is now a matter of ‘safety [for] mothers and their babies’. This is coming from a ‘representative’ who campaigned on health for the Lismore electorate. He hopes that ‘a suitable specialist is appointed’ soon. Perhaps this ‘suitable specialist’ can be found somewhere within the promised additional 3500 FTE health staff that was spruiked from the earnest soapbox of an election campaign?
Does Thomas George actually understand what makes expectant mothers angry? Does he understand that declaring a commitment to essential health services and world-class health care and then doing his famous disappearing act when it comes to protecting those services is disrespectful and insulting? The Murwillumbah birthing unit provides an essential, world-class health service to the 400-odd women who will give birth this year. If Thomas truly fears the wrath of expectant mothers he had better get his proverbial armour on because they are officially offside with him.
Bronya Lipski, Stokers Siding,