Thursday, 12 November 2020
NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has used a speech in State Parliament this week to demand Hunter New England Health (HNEH) take immediate steps to address community complaints regarding the standard of care being provided to patients at the new Inverell District Hospital.
Mr Marshall said multiple representations had been made to his office since Stage 1 of the $60 million development opened in May, expressing concern over a lack of medical staff (doctors) and poor staff conduct.
“I find it incredibly distressing to stand again in this Parliament and have to talk about the dire medical and service staffing situation that is currently facing many rural and regional public hospitals,” Mr Marshall said.
“Since the start of September, there has been a stream of complaints to my office about the conduct and poor bedside manner of staff, the simple non-availability of staff and lack of visiting medical officers (doctors) at Inverell District Hospital.
“In response, this month I have called an emergency meeting of NSW Health officials. I have demanded HNEH CEO Michael Di Rienzo be present and front up to the community, together with senior hospital staff, local GPs, the Inverell Shire Council and local paramedics.
“When you have patients feeling like a visit to the hospital is like spinning a chocolate and not knowing what they are going to get, then something is seriously wrong.
“Every one of the complaints erodes the faith and confidence the community have that this brand-new hospital is capable of looking after them and caring successfully for them and their family members.”
Mr Marshall clarified he was NOT pointing the figure at any particular individuals.
“This year the challenges posed to our health system have been unprecedented and the medical practitioners and nursing staff have been wonderful during the COVID-10 pandemic – Inverell Hospital included,” he said.
“But, like the rest of the Inverell community, I am trying to work out what the hell is going on within the structure of Hunter New England Health?
“I have said it before, and I will say it again: What is the point of spending $60 million of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash to build a brand-new hospital if it is not run properly and to the standard it should be to provide care for the community?
“We need to get to the bottom of this problem. Now is the time for solutions for the Inverell community, not more excuses.”
MEDIA: Kris Wall 0447 432 392
A transcript of Mr Marshall’s speech can be found at
Vision of Mr Marshall’s speech can be accessed via Dropbox: www.dropbox.com/s/bfvul7bufw3vdu3/10-11-2020%20LA_PMS_Marshall_Inverell%20District%20Hospital.mp4?dl=0