Giving Hospitals Back To The Community


15 January 2003

A Liberal/National Coalition Government in NSW would give hospitals back to their communities by appointing local and district Hospitals Boards, Nationals' Member for Lismore, Thomas George said today.

The major reform of the NSW Health system was announced in Orange today by NSW National Party Leader, George Souris.

"This is about giving communities a real say in which services and resources are available at their local hospitals," Mr George said.

The Coalition will abolish the current 17 Area Health Service Boards and replace them with local boards that would be far more knowledgeable of local needs.

Administration and jobs within each area health service will remain in place to service the local and district hospital boards, instead of one all powerful area health service board.

"Wherever I have travelled in the Lismore Electorate, people have complained that they feel disconnected from their local hospitals. These boards will allow local communities to make an intelligent contribution to planning for future services.

"Hospitals Boards and District Hospitals Boards will be required to determine what services should be provided and how the money is to be spent," Mr George said.

"Hospitals which admit over 4,500 patients per year will have their own Hospital Board, except where such hospitals are operated under a single management structure.

"District Hospitals Boards will comprise representatives of hospitals which admit fewer than 4,500 patient admissions per year and which share a community of interest."

Mr George said that within the Lismore electorate, the following Hospitals Boards would operate:

Lismore Base Hospital
Clarence-Richmond (comprising of Bonalbo, Casino, Kyogle, Nimbin & Urbenville)

Mr George said a Coalition Government would call for nominations for the Boards by advertising in local areas.

It would be a condition that being appointed to a Board would be honorary. Local community representatives with links to non-government organisations and expertise in financial, legal or other relevant fields would be sought.

"At least three clinicians - a doctor, a nurse and an allied health professional - would be appointed to the Boards.

"Unlike the Sydney Labor Government, the Coalition believes local communities are best placed to know what services are needed in their region," Mr George said.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.