BEX awards organiser Bob Robertson.
BEX awards organiser Bob Robertson. Tweed Daily News

Hospital Review is off

DEMORALISING staff cuts have been blamed for “despondent” Murwillumbah District Hospital staff bringing the curtain down on a popular live variety show that has, for many years, raised funds for medical equipment.

Former producer of the Hospital Review Bob Robertson yesterday announced the biannual variety show staged in the Murwillumbah Civic Centre by doctors, nurses and community members has been cancelled.

He laid the blame at the feet of North Coast Area Health Service CEO Chris Crawford for making cutbacks at the hospital, including decisions not to appoint a replacement hospital chief executive or a director of nursing.

The tickets have been printed, the posters done, but yesterday (Monday) the hospital review was cancelled,” said Mr Robertson, who had been one of the variety show's producers for the past eight years.

“There will be no Hospital Review thanks to Mr Crawford. Staff are despondent. Staff are not being replaced and they are going to be rudderless completely.”

Mr Robertson said under cutbacks overseen by Mr Crawford, senior roles would be handled from the already overstretched Tweed Heads hospital, and various hospital services such as maternity would be wound back.

“Murwillumbah will be a rehabilitation hospital within the next three to four years,” he said. “It will just become a geriatric hospital. It nearly brings you to tears to see what they are doing to it.”

Chairman of the Murwil- lumbah Hospital Community Support Committee Ian Ross said cancellation of the Review was “very disappointing”. “Morale at the hospital is extremely low, and as a consequence the people who would normally be part of the vari- ous skits say they are not interested,” Mr Ross said.

“Because they haven't got the staff there and everyone is so down, they said 'No'. It's sad.”

But Mr Ross said a raffle of a pool table planned in conjunction with the Review would still go ahead, and the committee intended to hand over $10,000 already raised for the maternity ward “despite the downgrading”.

“Whilst everything is looking grim we still need to support the hospital,” he said.

A spokesperson for Mr Crawford was yesterday preparing a response.

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