STILL WAITING: No stranger to campaigning, senior surgeon Dr Stephen White has called for hospital funding. Pictured at Tweed Hospital.
STILL WAITING: No stranger to campaigning, senior surgeon Dr Stephen White has called for hospital funding. Pictured at Tweed Hospital. Nolan Verheij-Full

Doctors ready to fight for Tweed, again

TWEED Hospital surgeons have been backed by the Australian Medical Association as the doctors brace themselves for the reality of another funding campaign.

Dr Stephen White said the Tweed Hospital urgently needed a redevelopment because patients were "pressured" to leave early after procedures for new admissions, a technique known in the industry as 'hot-bedding'.

"It wouldn't be unusual to have three people admitted into the same bed, on the same day, and I think that's extreme," Dr White said.

"People get told the day after surgery they have to go home and the reality is they can't."

Dr White criticised Northern NSW Health District's latest upgrade budgeting blunder, saying up to 30% of surgeons' work "was not recognised" or factored into their forward estimates because the patients were Queenslanders.

Health District blamed for Tweed Hospital funding blunder

The highly respected colorectal specialist is the second surgeon to tell the Tweed Daily News the surgical outcomes for patients at the Tweed were "brutal" thanks to a shoestring budget.

In our 2015 Heal Our Hospital campaign seeking $211 million in funding for the Tweed, Dr Michael Ghusn raised alarms over breast surgery patients being regularly cabbed to Robina Hospital for basic pre-op tests.

He also revealed abdominal surgery patients with profuse bleeding could not be treated and must wait up to three hours for an emergency transfer to a hospital with angiography.

 

Mr Michael Ghusn, surgeon at the Tweed Hospital.
Mr Michael Ghusn, surgeon at the Tweed Hospital. Nolan Verheij-Full

The most recent data revealed gynaecological surgery waiting times were 31% longer than at peer hospitals; patients waited 30 days longer for orthopaedic surgery; and 51 days longer for knee replacements.

Tweed Medical Staff council chair Dr Mike-Lindley Jones warned medicos were prepared to take the gloves off in another campaign to demonstrate why the Tweed was desperate for dollars.

"We will be disappointed and campaigning if the whole of the Stage One isn't properly funded," Dr Lindley-Jones said.

"Our patients and our hospital need Stage One to be completed."

Dr Saxon Smith of AMA NSW backed the calls, saying there was a need for "significant investment".

"We really need to see a concerted effort to bring the hospital up to speed, so it can deliver a service that the population of the Tweed deserves," Dr Smith said.

Tweed is the fastest growing "regional city" on the North Coast, with 90% of its growth in the next 20 years expected in the over-65 age group.

HOW TO HELP

Email NSW Health MinsterJillian Skinner: |illian.skinner@

minister.nsw.gov.au

Message Mrs Skinner on Facebook: Facebook.

com/JillianSkinnerMP

Write to letters@tweed dailynews.com.au.

 

The Tweed Hospital’s Emergency Department is out-performing its peers by cutting waiting times but the hospital urgently requires an upgrade. The ED has a 7% increase in patients annually. Pictured are Margaret Crilly, Jo Oldham-Moir, Michael Lattimore, Virginia Earnshaw, Alice Sack and Dr Rob Davies.
The Tweed Hospital’s Emergency Department is out-performing its peers by cutting waiting times but the hospital urgently requires an upgrade. The ED has a 7% increase in patients annually. Pictured are Margaret Crilly, Jo Oldham-Moir, Michael Lattimore, Virginia Earnshaw, Alice Sack and Dr Rob Davies. Melissa Belanic


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