The State Government is boasting the record spending from this weeks budget, but not everyone is happy.
Port Stephens MP Kate Washington says she’s appalled that there wasn’t a single cent for upgrades to Tomaree Hospital.
It’s an issue which has been raised for several years, as the only hospital in the region is failing to accommodate the ever growing older population.
In a speech to parliament, following the release of the budget, Ms Washington says the consequences of under investing could be tragic.
“The ultimate victims of the system in crisis are the patients.
“At Tomaree Hospital, wait times for Port Stephens residents are dangerously long. Too many leave before they are even seen. They wait for dangerously long times for ambulances. When they are taken to a bigger hospital, they face some of the longest waits in the State.
“More than 57 per cent of patients at the new Maitland Hospital spend over four hours in emergency, waiting to be seen. That is one of the worst wait times in New South Wales. Yet this is where paramedics are now taking many local patients from Port Stephens.
“The whole system—from the ground up—has been neglected for so long that it is crumbling.
“The reality is new buildings do not save lives; doctors and nurses do. But this Government refuses to properly staff our hospitals and pay the workers. Enough is enough. Lives are being put at risk and our local health workers are being driven from their jobs,” Ms Washington said.