17.6 C
Byron Shire
April 22, 2024

Byron hospital theatres ‘must stay in public hands’

Latest News

Cockroach climate

The cockroaches in the Byron Council offices are experiencing bright daylight at night. They are trying to determine whether...

Other News

School holidays at the market

Victoria Cosford School holidays shouldn’t only be holidays for children. Parents too are entitled to a break in routine, the...

Highway crash heading north from Byron

A crash on the Pacific Motorway heading north from the Byron Shire on Monday morning reduced traffic to a single lane around 11am.

Not enough letters like this about Gaza in The Echo?

The Echo’s studied indifference to the plight of the Palestinians and its reluctance to publish letters on the subject...

Reef snapshot details widespread coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

Latest CSIRO research shows that the fifth major bleaching event since 2016 is still unfolding, but bleaching was just one of the disturbances on the reef over summer.

Cockroach climate

The cockroaches in the Byron Council offices are experiencing bright daylight at night. They are trying to determine whether...

Editorial – What are the people doing in your neighbourhood?

If you are stuck for something to do this Thursday, why not take part in local democracy?

A large number of the local community could be locked out of their own ‘public’ Byron Central Hospital if its part privatisation continues, health workers have claimed.

The Health Services Union (HSU) says the state government was ‘pursuing privatisation by stealth’ by seeking to contract out management of operating theatres to a private company.

And the Northern NSW Local Health District, has admitted it had been exploring ‘avenues to provide day surgery at Byron Central Hospital, including through a tender process’.

But its chief executive, Wayne Jones, told Echonetdaily a recent tender process inviting expressions of interest by private providers to provide day surgery had  failed to provide any ‘compliant submissions’.

Mr Jones said the NNSWLHD ‘has been exploring avenues to provide day surgery at Byron Central Hospital, including through a tender process’.

He said surgical services in the district were ‘receiving a significant boost with new theatres planned for Lismore Base Hospital, The Tweed Hospital and Ballina District Hospital’.

But the union has questioned why the apparent partial privatisation was going ahead at the new Byron hospital ‘yet the government had abandoned all five of its regional hospital privatisations’.

HSU NSW secretary Gerard Hayes said the government had recently dropped plans for public-private partnerships at Bowral, Goulburn, Wyong, Shellharbour and Maitland hospitals.

‘The people of Byron and Mullumbimby fought hard to get the new hospital built, and to keep their local health service in public hands,’ Mr Hayes said.

‘At a time of record low wages growth, and with the cost of health insurance having risen by 5.6 per cent a year since 2010, private cover is increasingly out of reach for many people on the North Coast.

‘So if it theatres were privatised, a significant proportion of the local community could be effectively locked out of their own “public” hospital.’

Mr Hayes said the Byron Central Hospital Sub Branch of the HSU had passed a resolution opposing any private running of theatres at the hospital.

‘Hospital staff are members of the local community, and they want the community to have access to high quality public health services,’ he said.

‘That’s why we’re today calling on the Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, to come up to Byron Bay and to speak directly with hospital workers to clear up questions about the future of the operating theatres at Byron Central.’

The NNSWLHD’s Mr Jones said ‘clinical service planning for day surgery services takes into account the flow of patients across the Local Health District and the availability of surgical services at multiple facilities’.

‘Patients can be assured that NNSWLHD is committed to expanding these services, to ensure we continue to meet clinical timeframes and the needs of our communities,’ he said.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Heads up everyone!

    Turnbull and Shorten hope you don’t notice but privatisation by stealth is happening. Run down public assets and we look to greedy profit takers to fill the gap.

    Won’t be long we’ll be arguing about the right to have automatic weapons in our school bags.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

A grim commemoration

US President Jo Biden, responding to a question, made the comment that the US is considering the dropping of the prosecution of Julian Assange. How...

Infrastructure for east end of Mullum

Mullumbimby was founded 135 years ago. In the 1960s sewerage was introduced, as was I suppose drainage infrastructure. Are we living in the 1920s...

Save Wallum now

The Save Wallum campaign has been ongoing and a strong presence of concerned conservationists are on site at Brunswick Heads. How the state planning...

Can Council’s overturn their decisions?

NSW Labor planning minister, Paul Scully, when asked about the Wallum estate by local MP Tamara Smith (Greens)  in parliament on March 20, said,...