Assurance for children's ward

THE children's ward at Mur- willumbah District Hospital will not be closed down, NSW Health Minister Reba Meagher has% promised. Ms Meagher gave her assuranc- es in a letter to the Murwillumbah District Hospital Support Com- mittee president Ian Ross earlier this week. "I am advised by the North Coast Area Health chief executive Chris Crawford that closure of the paediatric ward and cessation of the obstetrics service at Mur- willumbah hospital are not being considered," Ms Meagher said. In her letter, Ms Meagher also informed the committee she had asked Mr Crawford to meet with the group to discuss their submission. "I have directed Mr Crawford to ensure that the submission is con- sidered as part of the review of the operation of the Murwillumbah hospital," she said. "Further, I have asked Mr Craw- ford to keep your committee up- dated on the progress of the re- view of the hospital." The hospital support committee has been agitating for the upgrade --------------- --------------- of the Murwillumbah hospital since June this year when the Daily News published reports of NCAHS's aborted plans to close the children's ward. Mr Ross yesterday said he was very happy with the minister's response. "We are happy with the gains made so far," Mr Ross said. "We submitted 9500 signatures as part of a petition to the minister. "The committee has the author- ity from the people of the district to deal with the issues facing the hospital on their behalf." Mr Ross said he was still wait- --------------- --------------- ing to hear from Mr Crawford re- garding the proposed meeting. "It is hopeful that proper com- munication can now occur," he said. "That's the whole idea, we want dialogue." The committee would meet again at the Murwillumbah show- grounds on Monday to discuss their plans, he said. Meanwhile, Ms Meagher also reassured the committee of the department's commitment to maintaining obstetric services at the Murwillumbah hospital. It is understood interviews for the position are scheduled for this month.



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