Hospital and patient needs ignored

STATE members for Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah have lashed out against North Coast health bosses over the latest job cuts.

North Coast Area Health Service (NCAHS) chief executive Chris Crawford on Monday confirmed The Tweed Hospital will lose 15.5 positions and the Murwillumbah District Hospital will have close to nine positions axed.

Geoff Provest, member for Tweed, and Thomas George, whose electorate includes Murwillumbah, said this announcement confirmed what they and the community had feared for some time.

“I've been saying for a long time they're taking away front-line staff,” Mr Provest said. “This is not about money, this is about people's basic rights to receive treatment.

“I've asked Chris Crawford to stand aside.”

Mr Provest is now lodging a freedom of information request to the NSW Health Department for information relating to staff reductions and movement.

Mr George said he is seeking a meeting with the Health Minister to discuss this issue further.

“It's just not acceptable,” Mr George said.

“I find it difficult to believe what Mr Crawford is saying, by cutting back 100 staff we will not lose any services.

“How do you take 8.9 people out and not put extra stress and work on the staff there?”

Mr George said every staff member he has spoken to has complained of being over-worked.

“This community has supported the hospital not only financially but with moral support. The biggest hospital rally I have ever seen was held in Murwillumbah.

“In my opinion the Premier and NCAHS have turned their backs on the health service.”

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