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Byron Shire
January 26, 2022

Public health care forum in Lismore tomorrow

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CCTV footage released by the coroner shows Lismore Base Hospital Mental Health Unit patient wandering the hospital corridors naked and alone before collapsing and dying.

A NSW parliamentary committee will hold a public forum in Lismore on Tuesday (October 24) following the death in care of Miriam Merten in the Lismore Base Hospital mental health ward in 2014.

The forum follows calls by nursing staff, local politicians and the Labor opposition, after horrifying CCTV footage released by a coronial inquiry last year showed showed Ms Merten had numerous falls while being held in a seclusion cell, naked and with no access to water for almost six hours.

She spent more than 30 minutes covered in her own faeces before her eventual collapse in a corridor of the facility.

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has welcomed the announcement that the Public Accounts Committee was finally coming to Lismore, more than three years after the events occurred.

Ms Smith said the committee, which has been conducting an inquiry into the management of health care delivery in NSW was re-opened and extended due to concerns about the treatment of Ms Merten

‘I am glad to see that the Committee is holding a public forum in Lismore so that they can hear first-hand from people in the Northern Rivers region about their experiences with the health system,’ Ms Smith said.

The inquiry will examine whether health practitioners and administrators have sufficient information to deliver high quality services and whether patients and their carers are also provided with reliable information to make informed choices about accessing the health system.

‘If you would like to make a contribution to the inquiry, or if you have made a submission and would like to participate in discussion on the issues, please come along to the forum which will be held in the Lismore Workers Club,’ Ms Smith said.

The public forum will start at 2pm, Tuesday 24 October 2017 at the Lismore Workers Club.

It will be followed by two days of formal public hearings at Parliament House in Sydney on 30 and 31 October 2017, where evidence will be taken from a range of agencies and peak organisations representing the health sector.

For more information visit the NSW Parliament website.


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