The people of the Great Lakes have responded loud and clear to a call for a public hospital in Forster-Tuncurry.
Many residents, and visitors believe there is a real need to have at least an emergency department in Forster-Tuncurry to accommodate the Great Lakes’ growing population.
However, Hunter New England Health District chief executive officer, Michael DiRienzo says: “at this stage our indications don’t show that we need to build a public hospital in Forster.”
Cherie Evans believed it was ‘absolutely ridiculous’ there was no public hospital in Forster.
“I bought a house at Smiths Lake four years ago and needed emergency treatment only a week after getting here,” she posted on the GLA Facebook page.
“It took 1 1/2 hours for the ambo to get here and then another two hours to Taree.
“We now have the house on the market for one reason – there is no hospital.”
Yes,we desperately need a public hospital for our growing population. Also,it would bring many, many jobs, Deborah Alford-Collis said.
Jessica Gray explained following discussions she had had with local member Stephen Bromhead the plan was to establish a public emergency in the existing private hospital.
“It’s very early stages and we are still a long way from progress,” she said.
“Maybe Mr DiRiEnzo should have some discussions with our local member and bounce ideas rather than opinions.”
Mr DiRienzo obviously doesn’t live in the area - and he obviously hasn’t had to endure a trip from Forster to Taree with acute kidney pain or a broken limb, John Costello posted.
However, not everyone believed there was a need for a public hospital in Forster-Tuncurry.
Jodie Hardinge compared a public hospital in Forster to having one every 30 minutes in any city.
“It doesn’t make sense.
“Thirty 30 minutes is not far,” Ms Hardinge posted.
“We don’t have the population to sustain it.
“They tried an after hours doctor’s and the local doctors stopped it because they were wasting time because it wasn’t being used enough.
“Better to put the money into Taree to improve their services.”
Sandra Corbett asked how patients were returned home to the Great Lakes from Taree.
“Having an ambulance to take you to Taree is great but then how do you get home, especially if they discharge you late at night or in the very early hours of the morning.”
Maureen Camilleri explained a taxi was available for patients without transport, but they had to ask hospital staff.
Tahlia Fletcher has to wait eight hours in emergency at eight and a half months pregnant suffering both pneumonia and influenza to see a doctor.
Also, she had to ‘beg’ staff to admit her.
“This town is defiantly needing a public hospital. Taree just cannot cope,” Tahlia said.
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