Mrs PHILLIPS (Gilmore) (10:38): [by video link] Thank you, Deputy Speaker. If there's one thing to get people's blood boiling in the Batemans Bay and Moruya area, just mention the word 'hospital'. Let me start by saying, we love our nurses, our doctors and all our hospital and health workers. They are absolute champions working in the most difficult conditions.
But people in Batemans Bay and Moruya just want to have their hospital services improved. At present, around two-thirds of patients have to travel outside of the area for hospital and cancer care treatment. That often means a long trip to Canberra.
The existing Batemans Bay hospital is a Level 2 hospital. The Moruya hospital is a Level 3 hospital. The plan
was for a brand new Eurobodalla hospital to provide the higher Level 4 services and include intensive care and mental health beds. An announcement was made by the state member and the New South Wales government, and everyone thought that we would finally be getting the hospital services that were promised. But no, it's turned out to be another flashy announcement, where the government is good on announcement and poor on delivery.
Let's take a look at what constituents are telling me this will mean for the new Eurobodalla hospital:
- no intensive care unit,
- fewer emergency beds,
- no acute mental health services,
- no dedicated paediatric and neonatal supports,
- and no orthopaedics.
I was contacted recently by a GP aghast that the state government tried to rip out the high dependency monitors from the hospital. They still want the monitors gone before the end of the year. So locals are at the stage where they have no new Eurobodalla hospital at all; the new hospital, when it's built, will have fewer services; and in the meantime the government is axing services from Batemans Bay Hospital.
Constituents tell me the state government is also axing security and staffing at Batemans Bay Hospital.
It's left people asking, 'What in the blazes is going on?' Where are the state member and the state government? Missing in action. During the 2019 federal election, the Morrison government promised a radiation therapy treatment centre for the Eurobodalla so cancer patients could have treatment close to home. But the Morrison government has reneged on that, too. Good on announcement, poor on delivery.
I stand with my constituents in the Batemans Bay and Moruya areas, calling on the government at both the state and federal levels to deliver the hospital services that people so desperately need.