Submission period to Inquiry into rural and regional health services extended

Gosford Hospital’s emergency department

The time for submissions to the Parliamentary Inquiry into rural and regional health services, including the Central Coast, has been extended to Friday, January 15.

Shadow Minister for Central Coast, Wyong MP David Harris, said it was a great opportunity to raise concerns about the provision of health services locally.

“We know there are concerns about maternity and cardiology services already and this Inquiry will give residents the chance to outline those and other areas of concern,” he said.

“Our hospitals at Wyong and Gosford are stretched to the limit with staffing and pressure from population growth.”

Shadow Minister for Health, Ryan Park, said the extension of time ensured that people had the time they needed to share their experiences ahead of public hearings in 2021.

He said this Inquiry was so important to create equality between healthcare services in metropolitan areas and cities compared to rural and regional NSW.

Topics to be considered in the Inquiry include: health outcomes for rural, regional and remote NSW; the access and availability of services; planning systems; capital and recurrent health expenditure; and, staffing challenges and allocations.

“This process is about hearing from patients, doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, parents, friends and communities, and it’s vital that everyone who has a story is given the opportunity to share it,” said Shadow Minister for Rural Health, Kate Washington.

“I encourage everyone who wants to see improved local healthcare services to make a submission and have their voice heard.

“There is nothing more powerful than a community coming together to fight for change,” Washington said.

Sue Murray