‘We were going broke’: Constance
Concerns that plans for the future of Pambula District Hospital may have hit the wall, were probably justified in the light of a media release issued by member for Bega Andrew Constance, yesterday.
It is apparent that PDH has been caught up in the NSW government’s decision to turn an $18 million dollar deficit in the health district into a half million dollar deficit.
“I am very grateful for the work done by the Pambula Hospital Committee thus far.
“Their ongoing advocacy has come at a time when the financial performance of the health district has had to be turned around and has placed pressure on all hospitals in the region,” Mr Constance said.
“The NSW government has turned an $18 million deficit into a half million dollar deficit in the health district and this has been an enormous credit to the board and CEO,” he said.
“Dealing with the fiscal reality and combating the challenges at Pambula hasn’t been easy. Something had to give at health district level because we were going broke and placing the region on a sustainable financial footing is fundamental to meeting the future health care needs in the south east.”
However despite the financial pressures, Mr Constance said that
an ophthalmologist and a public dentist had been appointed, staffing morale had improved and the saving of the hospital by the community had occurred in recent times.
“This has happened whilst in some hospitals services have had to be wound back.”
Mr Constance is calling for expressions of interest from members of the local community with relevant experience to join the revamped Pambula Hospital Committee.
“The Pambula Hospital Committee will be instrumental in framing the future health provision at the hospital in the lead up to the opening of the new regional hospital in 2016,” Andrew Constance said.
“Experience in health, business management and community engagement would be desirable for representatives on the committee.
Jenny Symons, chair, Southern New South Wales Local Health District Board said: “The district (board) is committed to work closely with the community and continue to build on the consultation process as we plan the future of Pambula Hospital.”
Mr Constance said: “I again reiterate that Pambula Hospital will remain open under the NSW Liberals.
“The committee will have a terms of reference which is consistent with other hospital committees throughout the state and region. This will be a topic of discussion at the first meeting,” Mr Constance said.
Successful applicants will be appointed for a period of up to two years.
Application forms can be obtained from Neeli Sharma by emailing email@example.com or by phoning 6213 8331.
If you would first like to find out more about what being a committee member might involve, please ring Andrew Constance on 6492 2056.
Applications close: Friday, February 28.