Eurobodalla Shire surgeon Michael Holland reflects on a year of campaigning for a regional hospital - and the campaigning to come:
As a result of the concern of local residents, medical and nursing staff, ONE - One New Eurobodalla hospital was born on 21st August, 2018.
ONE - One New Eurobodalla hospital group was established to promote the development of a single new health facility for the citizens of the Eurobodalla and to achieve improvement in Accident & Emergency, Critical Care and Perioperative services immediately and during the transition to a single new hospital.
A petition to the NSW Legislative Assembly which obtained over 3000 signatures within three weeks requested that Parliament instruct the Minister for Health to act on these issues.
Where are we now?
The Premier of NSW and the Member for Bega have announced $150 million towards a single new level 4 regional hospital.
This funding has been listed in the State Budget to be released by 2023.
The Clinical Services Plan for Eurobodalla Health Services has been submitted to the NSW Ministry for Health in July.
Following the State and Federal elections, commitments have been made to full headspace youth mental health services in Batemans Bay.
There will be the development of Triple Care Farm drug and alcohol rehabilitation services.
There is a pre-election commitment from Federal Government that the Eurobodalla will be one of thirteen regional areas to receive funding for a radiation oncology service which would benefit the whole Far South Coast of NSW.
There is application by Tresillian to NSW Government to establish a mobile Tresillian 2U early childhood service with its hub within the Eurobodalla.
Where aren't we now?
2023 is four years away. We need the funding and commencement of work on the new Eurobodalla regional hospital as soon as possible.
We need the Clinical Services Plan to include level 4 mental health services for our residents.
We need action on improvement to Accident & Emergency, Critical Care and Perioperative services including capital works as well as increased medical & nursing workforce.
We need strong leadership and governance from SNSWLHD to advocate for these services and to navigate the Eurobodalla towards One New Eurobodalla hospital.