Lismore obstetrician: It’s your birth right
PROMINENT Lismore obstetrician Dr Glenn Taylor wants readers to "see through" Northern NSW Local Health District's lack of commitment in repairing Lismore Base Hospital's Women's Care Unit, severely damaged when its roof collapsed in December.
Dr Taylor believes the hospital's administration wants to push the agenda of early and earlier post-natal discharge so it can then reduce beds and the nursing staff. Private patients are now heading to The Gold Coast to access "adequate" facilities, he said.
Here is his letter to the editor:
I WRITE in response to the articles in The Northern Star, "Mum's ward still closed" (15/01/2016) and "Hospital stay a nightmare" (16/01/2016).
How disappointed should the general public (and in particular women) be with the Administration Lismore Base Hospital (LBH) and the politicians over their management of the facilities for women requiring obstetric and/or gynaecological care at LBH.
The administration and politicians are advocating continued utilisation of the limited, inadequate shared old ward space known as A4 (the previous single room accommodation known as Southern Wing being demolished). They want to push the agenda of early and earlier post-natal discharge, they can then reduce beds and the nursing staff required. The general public have seen over the years how the Administration and politicians have withdrawn and underfunded the Community Health Services needed to support the earlier discharges. Do you think that the Administration and politicians will be directing the money they save by reducing post-natal and women's-care beds into the community led services?
One has to be cynical that they are considering post-natal transfer of mothers and babies to Casino and other peripheral hospitals for years the Administrators and politicians have tried to downgrade, reduce services and close peripheral obstetric units!
Do we believe that the promised end of 2017 facilities will include adequate facilities for inpatient and post-natal obstetric and gynaecological patients? Have no doubt that the Administrators and politicians will be now using this time to see how low in numbers they can go in the promised future facility.
The patients that require public care have no options but to accept what the Administrators and poiliticians provide. Patients that hold private health insurance should be able to access a public facility with their insurance and have adequate acceptable facilities. This is not the case now at LBH for the post-natal /women's care unit.
It is no wonder why those patients with private health insurance will continue to choose to access the better facilities on the Gold Coast.
Dr Glenn Taylor