Specialist?s family feel heartbreak
By ZOE SATHERLEY
DR DAVID SILLAR and his wife Fiona are broken-hearted about being forced to leave the Northern Rivers because of the ongoing medical crisis at Lismore Base Hospital.
"The lack of funding to the area health service is so massive and so entrenched I just don't see the situation being easily resolved," said the urologist.
Dr Sillar cited frustration over the continual cancellation of surgery, outdated and poorly functioning equipment, and regular lack of beds for his patients as the prime reasons for his leaving to go to the John Flynn Hospital on the Gold Coast.
Dr Sillar is a third generation Lismore doctor.
Mrs Sillar, too, is a third-generation Lismore woman.
"This is one of the hardest decisions we have had to make," she said.
"Both sets of parents and grandparents are still living here.
"The kids have all their cousins here. The Northern Rivers is our home. This is where our roots are. The kids love their school and friends.
"David offered to go up to the Gold Coast on his own, coming back on weekends, but I don't want to split up the family.
"We're going to stick together through all of this, but it is heartbreaking for us and for the children."
Mrs Sillar said the family had no choice other than to leave.
"We have a young family and a big mortgage, like everyone else. The uncertainty around earning an income has had a big impact on us," she said.
"David never knows when his operating list is going to be cancelled. It becomes difficult to plan financially or meet your overheads.
"It has also been very stressful for David to not be able to give his patients the care they need and deserve."