Call to target Base Hospital

By Alex Easton

LISMORE Base Hospital should be investigated through a Parliamentary inquiry, community groups claim.

Five Northern Rivers community, health and business groups, led by Regional Community Watch president Marshall Fittler, yesterday called for an inquiry similar to the one already planned by the NSW Government for the Royal North Shore Hospital.

The comments follow an exclusive report in The Northern Star last week revealing many of the hospital's wards were more than 90 per cent full from January to August this year.

Heads of the NSW AMA and Australasian College of Emergency Medicine said Lismore's figures were as bad as Sydney's now infamous Royal North Shore Hospital, except the Sydney hospital could close it doors when it was full.

Mr Fittler's call was backed by Lismore Unlimited Opportunities president Mark Willoughby, Lismore Base Hospital Medical Staff Council spokesman Dr Chris Ingall, Joan Roots of the NSW CWA, Pat Coghlan of the Prostate Cancer Federation of Australia, and Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Lismore branch president Jim Parker.

Greens MLC Lee Rhiannon, who is on the parliamentary committee that would run the inquiry, said her party would back '100 per cent' an investigation into Lismore Base.

Ms Rhiannon said the Greens wanted the inquiry planned for Royal North Shore to cover all NSW hospitals.

Local Greens MLC Ian Cohen, Lismore MP Thomas George and Ballina MP Don Page also backed the call. However, Mr Page said more people needed to come forward with their hospital experiences.

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