Tweed MP's jabs at hospital put to bed

THE North Coast Area Health Service (NCAHS) has thrown cold water on claims made in State Parliament on Wednesday by Tweed MP Geoff Provest that one of its hospitals is broke.

Mr Provest told the Parliament that Tweed Heads Hospital, which is part of the NCAHS, could not pay its bills and could close in two weeks.

“Local businesses have approached me complaining they haven't been paid in three months,” he said.

Mr Provest said that local suppliers to the hospital would not go public with their complaints for fear of retribution.

One supplier faced liquidation, he told the Parliament.

Mr Provest said there was a pattern of under-funding in NSW public hospitals.

Yesterday, Mr Provest said NCAHS chief executive Chris Crawford had ordered senior staff at the Tweed Hospital not to order priority equipment until November.

However, a health service spokesman denied allegations the service could not pay its bills.

“Hospital's are not like businesses and sometimes it takes longer for accounts to be paid,” he said.

“We are living in difficult times and we are working with suppliers to ensure they are paid.”

The spokesman said that in recent years Tweed Hospital had received significantly more capital works funding and staffing funding than other hospitals between Port Macquarie and the Queensland border.

Mr Crawford released a statement yesterday inviting Mr Provest to contact him to discuss his concerns.

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