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Highland health Hazzard

State Budget time and the Southern Highlands gets a kick in the guts by the premier, the health minister and our local member, Jai Rowell.

These politicians, who are suppose to be looking after our wishes should look at the reality of what is on offer to our community by going over these questions and answers.

What is $50m bringing to Bowral Hospital? A new, non-purpose built building that is going to house parts of the existing hospital services and 10 more beds.

Is there to be any real increases in the quality or quantity of medical services? No.

Will patients, who are in a serious condition be treated in the new hospital? (This includes people with Private Cover) No. They will be transported to city hospitals because there will be no increase in services to Bowral under the $50m redevelopment.

What will happen at Bowral If you end up at Emergency? It will not matter if you are a public or privately covered patient but if you are in an ‘iffy’ situation you will be stabilised in Bowral then sent to a city hospital.

After the redevelopment will there be permanent doctors employed at Bowral? No. The government is happy to throw money at larger hospitals (to increase services for the local health district and save money) but have no real plan to ensure the increase in medical or nursing staff anywhere within the state.

Has Jai Rowell been successful in gaining more funds for Bowral Hospital as he has promised over the last two years? No. The 2017 State Budget has announced $632m for Campbelltown (which was already granted $300m in last year’s budget). This massive increase is to enable more patients from here to go to Campbelltown’ Emergency Department and to the birthing suites. 

Why should we be disgusted with this Budget, the redevelopment and the government? This Region is already a growth area and it is growing steadily in regards to new families but more importantly the elderly. The very rapid growth in the aged within the next few years should be a major area of focus for new and improved services.

Sadly, this is not the case so we can look forward to people of all ages being isolated in city hospitals, separated from their family while they have operations or give birth, suffer trauma or worse still die on their own. And we naively thought most hazards were an accident!

Edna Carmichael

Public Health First


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