Minister will miss radiation rally
NEW South Wales Health Minister John Della Bosca will not attend a protest for radiation services at the Tweed Hospital despite the fact he will be less than a kilometre away at the time.
During a whirlwind tour of the Tweed this morning, Mr Della Bosca will visit the site of the proposed Pottsville HealthOne service before travelling to Tweed Hospital in Tweed Heads for an announcement on a medical assessment unit and hospital jobs.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest has extended an invitation to the minister to attend a planned Rally for Radiation at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre today at 12.30pm, less than a kilometre from the hospital.
A spokeswoman for Mr Della Bosca said he would be in meetings with hospital staff after his announcement, before flying out.
Mr Provest's Daffodil Day rally aims to press the case for local radiation therapy services to help the Tweed's 3500 cancer patients.
Speakers at the event will include local oncologist Dr Ehtesham Abdi, the NSW Cancer Council, swimming legend and cancer survivor Linda McGill and Tweed patients.
Mr Provest said there were some serious questions to answer.
“Despite the minister's earlier denials, it is now confirmed that he will be visiting the Tweed Hospital, and the Tweed needs to hear what he plans to do, if anything, to address the Tweed Hospital crisis,” Mr Provest said.
Earlier this year North Coast Area Health Service chief executive Chris Crawford confirmed 400 jobs from the service would be axed.
Tweed Hospital was set to lose 15.5 positions and Murwillumbah District Hospital to lose nine.
“Despite repeated email and fax invitations, I am yet to get a response from Mr Della Bosca,” Mr Provest said.
“He is going to be less than 100 metres from the civic centre, so he really should make the stroll over.
“He will leave the Tweed with a much better understanding of our very serious health challenges.”
Mr Provest said Mr Della Bosca would be treated with the courtesy and respect his position entitled him to should he choose to attend.