A union representing health workers has suggested increasing the usage of Murwillumbah Hospital as a way to alleviate overcrowding at Tweed Hospital.
Echonetdaily reported recently that local patients were being forced to go across the border to Queensland to access health services because Tweed Hospital is at breaking point.
The Tweed Hospital medial council called for an urgent expansion of Tweed’s emergency department, and Greens NSW Health spokesperson Dawn Walker called on both the Liberal/Nationals and Labor to stop using Tweed as a ‘political football’.
Ms Walker said Tweed Hospital was facing a growing funding crisis and it was time the Nationals delivered on their promised funding of $48 million to start upgrading the facility.
‘Tweed Hospital cares for people right across the north coast; it should be a first-class facility with a new emergency department, refurbished wards and specialist units; not left to deteriorate so it can be wheeled out each election for politicians to make unfilled promises,’ she said.
Health Services Union NSW secretary Gerard Hayes is visiting Murwillumbah Hospital today to talk with staff about the possibility of Murwillumbah being used to ease the ‘capacity crunch’ at Tweed.
‘The problems at Tweed Hospital are well documented – an overcrowded ED, wards with no spare beds, and ballooning waiting lists,’ Mr Hayes said.
‘These problems will get worse before they get better.
‘Murwillumbah is well-placed to ease some of this pressure by taking on more of the surgical load.’
Mr Hayes said the State Government had been slowly downgrading Murwillumbah Hospital, when it should have been using the facility more strategically.
‘The temporary closure of the Birthing Suite in 2015 was an indication of how State Government has taken its eye off the ball with Murwillumbah Hospital.
‘Hospital workers are calling on the State Government to commit to the future of this important community facility.’