STOP THE RURAL HEALTH BANDAID FIX AND FIND A PERMANENT CURE: MARSHALL

MP pleads for urgent solution to rural medical staff shortage

 

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

 

NOTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has delivered a scathing assessment of the state of rural health services and staffing and made a desperate appeal for immediate action during a speech on the floor of State Parliament overnight, demanding the State and Federal Government’s intervene in the current medical staffing shortage before the system implodes.

 

Mr Marshall described how a reliance on locum doctors to fill rosters in rural hospitals had created a system which favoured wealth over health.

 

“The lack of a sufficient medical workforce of general practitioners, without whom we cannot run rural hospitals, is now at crisis point,” Mr Marshall said.

 

“In communities like Glen Innes, nurses providing treatment in hospital emergency departments are forced to cover rosters for days and weeks without a single general practitioner or visiting medical officer on duty, because the local health district has been unable to supply or contract even locum doctors to fill that roster.

 

“We have been paying locums exorbitant fees to fill in gaps, and in the process we have created a whole industry of locum doctors and rewarded people for becoming part-time professionals.

 

“Meanwhile, nurses in our local hospitals are pulling double and triple shifts to try and cover the gaps.

 

“I have grave fears that the failure of the health service to properly resource or find locums for our hospitals is placing unreasonable expectations and pressures on nursing and allied health staff and that it could result in a tragic and preventable misfortune to a patient.

 

“On behalf of my community, I insist that urgent short-term action be taken to ensure appropriate and safe medical coverage, not telehealth and overworking the existing overburdened nursing staff.”

 

Mr Marshall added yesterday’s NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association state-wide day of action was the last-gasp plea of that workforce on the brink of collapse.

 

“If it was not for the commitment of our local nurses, many of my towns would be without all medical coverage after hours—full stop,” he said.

 

“I stand in full support of our region’s amazing medical staff – doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and the people who support them – and fully back their efforts to secure better pay conditions and increased numbers of colleagues to join them on the front line in our rural public hospitals.

 

“It is time NSW Health stops the bandaid fixes and finds a cure for this medical staff shortage.

 

“Be bold, be innovative and work with the Commonwealth to find the cure because the consequences of not doing so are frankly unthinkable.”

Recent Articles

$925,000 RESTORATION OF OLD URALLA COURTHOUSE UNDERWAY

27th May 2022

Restoration works are underway on the 133-year-old former Uralla Courthouse, thanks to a $925,000 grant from the State Government,... Read More

$8.5 MILLION NEW AMBULANCE STATION ON THE WAY FOR GLEN INNES

27th May 2022

Celebrating the good news today of a new $8.5 million ambulance station for Glen Innes, to be built on... Read More

WORK ‘POWERS UP’ ON NEW ENGLAND SOLAR FARM 50MW BATTERY

24th May 2022

Turning the first ceremonial sod of soil today to commence construction on the 50 megawatt/hour battery at the 720... Read More