INVERELL UNITED IN CALL FOR INQUIRY INTO HOSPITAL & HEALTH MANAGEMENT

INVERELL UNITED IN CALL FOR INQUIRY INTO HOSPITAL & HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Photo caption: Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, and Inverell Shire Mayor Paul Harmon have united in their call on behalf of the community for an independent inquiry into the management of Inverell District Hospital and Hunter New England health, in the wake of the recent anaesthetics bungle at the hospital.

Thursday, 29 February 2024

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today warmly welcomed the full-throated support of Inverell Shire Council in the call for an independent inquiry into the management of Inverell District Hospital and Hunter New England Health’s bungled handling of anaesthetic services.

Council adopted a Mayoral Minute at its monthly ordinary meeting yesterday, resolving unanimously to support an “external independent inquiry into the management practices of the Inverell Hospital and associated Tablelands Sector of the Hunter New England Local Health District.”

“I warmly welcome Inverell Shire Council’s strong support for an independent inquiry in the management of Inverell Hospital and Hunter New England Health,” Mr Marshall said.

“Mayor Paul Harmon and his Councillors are to be commended for showing strong civic leadership and calling out poor management, non-existent communication and a loss of services in their local hospital and from the health service.

“This adds more strength to the argument for the state government to step in and establish an inquiry into the recent anaesthetics bungle at Inverell Hospital and the abysmal handling of it by the health district.

“Council and the community are sick to the back teeth of the health district’s contemptuous attitude toward them, with an increasing culture of obfuscation, secrecy and cover up.

“Hunter New England Health knew about this bungle for weeks before it eventually came to light publicly, were forced to issue a public statement and now, two weeks on, there has been absolute silence from management about how this happened and what is being done to return those essential services to Inverell.

“This latest issue is emblematic of broader and deeper issues within the management of the hospital at Inverell and of the whole health district and any inquiry must also take a deep dive into these matters to ensure situations like this are never repeated, but if they are, there is no attempt to simply sweep it under the carpet in the hope no-one will notice.”

Mr Marshall said he was seeking a face-to-face meeting with the Minister for Health when Parliament resumes next month for Council and him to put their request for the inquiry personally.

“Our communities deserve far better than what we are receiving from the health district. HNEH is letting us down, but sadly their own hard-working frontline staff as well,” Mr Marshall said.

“Like a cancer, this toxic culture within the health district has to be tracked down at its source and cut out, before its spreads and we lose the patient for good.”

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