Update on Regional Health Inquiry
The stories that we are seeing emerge from submissions to the health enquiry are emblematic of what we in the bush have known for years – our health system is broken.
Seeing these stories – our stories – come to light in the metropolitan media, and seeing people in Sydney react to the fact that these things are happening in our own backyard is validating. The real test will be however how the NSW Government chooses to deal with this damning feedback.
So far the responses I have seen from the Health agencies on this have fallen flat.
Despite the incredibly personal experiences people have shared through this process the NSW Government through the health bureaucrats have seen fit to respond by giving themselves a pat on the back for investing in health infrastructure. Shiny buildings don’t save people’s lives, they don’t ensure our nurses aren’t working themselves to exhaustion, and they don’t make sure we have well supported Doctors in our hospitals.
The NSW health system must address what’s happening with regional health care, they cannot say that the experiences people are sharing are in the minority. I will not stand by and allow people in regional NSW to be fobbed off when we are talking about matters of life and death.
I have spoken with the Chair, Deputy Chair and Members of the Committee urging them to not allow this inquiry to be a political football. We need to see positive and prospective recommendations that change health outcomes for people in regional NSW.
In addition I have written to the Committee urging them to refer all individual cases where there has been a failing in care to the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC). These cases must be independently investigated using the full powers of the HCCC to uncover how these incidences occurred.
The Committee is yet to finish uploading the submissions to the Parliament website, I have been informed that they have received several hundred and they all must undergo a strict review process before being published.
The first hearing of the inquiry is scheduled for 19 March, it will be streamed online so the public may watch.