Financially our health system looks terminal

THE North Coast Area Health Service believes it is exempt from paying bills on time, but if any other business in town operated in this way its doors would close soon enough. Our local businesses are having to carry the bad debt for NCAHS' bad management and this has a flow-on effect in the region.

Every NSW voter should be concerned that our State Government has allowed its Health Department to become $69 million in debt. Locally our NCAHS owes $7.4 million.

The NCAHS has expected one of its

suppliers to hold $80,000 in unpaid bills for them, and there will be others we have not heard about yet. Such a large debt would bankrupt most small businesses, but it seems the NCAHS doesn't care what effect these unpaid bills will have on its suppliers.

This situation is not only bad management but shows a complete lack of respect for suppliers and local businesses, especially in these hard economic times.

The Northern Star understands there are quite a few concerned suppliers across the region who are not being paid on time. Many don't wish to talk for fear of not being paid at all or, even worse, of losing business from the health service. Others don't wish to cause more undue stress on the NCAHS because they understand it will be the patients and staff who will suffer.

This is a disgraceful situation and the NSW Health Department needs to 'fess up' that it is in dire financial straits.

This State Government urgently needs the assistance of a good financial advisor before it bankrupts the entire State with its mismanagement.

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