NCAHS MUST RELEASE LISMORE BASE HOSPITAL BED USAGE FIGURES

NCAHS MUST RELEASE LISMORE BASE HOSPITAL BED USAGE FIGURES

24 August 2007

Member for Lismore, Thomas George says the current lack of available beds at Lismore Base Hospital is a disgrace and the North Coast Area Health Hospital should immediately release bed usage figures to the public.

“Staff of Lismore Base Hospital have expressed their deep concern about chronic overcrowding at Lismore Base Hospital, yet the NCAHS believes the excess patient load is seasonal”, Mr George said.

“I disagree that the problem is seasonal. If there is nothing to hide, then the NCAHS should act transparently and release bed usage figures for the last five years. The public has a right to know whether patient care and health are being compromised by a lack of planning for the ongoing health needs of Lismore and surrounding regions.

“Unfortunately I have already heard several reports of patients being left in waiting rooms for long periods of time, whilst at the same time staff scramble to find available beds and surgery lists are cancelled, Mr George said.

“The winter flu season always puts extra pressure on the health service, but it appears the Lismore Base Hospital has been operating at capacity for at least a year with no apparent relief in sight.”

Mr George said it was imperative that the Premier, Health Minister and North Coast Area Health Service intervened to ensure patient safety was not jeopardised, and before lives were lost.

“Not only should the North Coast Area Health Service be addressing the current lack of beds, but also planning for the future and pushing ahead with hospital expansion as quickly as possible.”

Mr George said there was an urgent need for the capacity of the Lismore and Murwillumbah Hospital’s to be boosted to keep up with the growing and ageing Far North Coast population. “Unless the community has a clear and transparent picture of current bed usage, we will remain in the dark as to just how much planning for the future is needed,” he said.

Contact Thomas George on 6621 3624 or 0427 360 781

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577