NSW President of the United Hospital Auxiliary of NSW Mollie Strong of Byron Bay.
NSW President of the United Hospital Auxiliary of NSW Mollie Strong of Byron Bay. Cathy Adams

Volunteers give, it's taken away

VOLUNTEERS raised a combined $4.43 million on the North Coast in the past three years because of a commitment to maintaining local medical services, United Hospital Auxiliary (UHA) state president Mollie Strong said.

Ms Strong, from Byron Bay, said the 500 auxiliary members between Tweed Heads and Grafton who contributed 360,000 hours of their time during that period were concerned about being transferred to hospitals outside their communities to be treated, isolating them from family and friends.

"The majority of volunteers are over the age of 65 with older people experiencing more hospitalisation and they volunteer because they want state-of-the-art local medical services should they need them," the retired hospital administrator said.

"Many of our volunteers are fearful that in an emergency they will not be able to access appropriate levels of care locally."

The money is raised through events such as raffles, fetes, craft shows, charity days, theme days, golf, fashion parades and art shows.

"The unique thing about UHA is that every dollar raised stays in the community where it was raised," Ms Strong said.

Bonalbo Hospital Auxiliary secretary Merrill Carr is "very cranky" that equipment, including a defibrillator that the community purchased for $20,000 in 2008 for its hospital emergency department is now locked away between 11pm and 7am.

"The community bought it and they are entitled to its use," Mrs Carr said.

"It's so dangerous when you haven't got local medical services.

"We are one and a half to two hours from Lismore Base."

The local health district closed the emergency department late at night in April 23 following the retirement of the local doctor in late December.

 

A FUNDRAISING YEAR

North Coast hospital auxiliary fundraising from July 2010-June 2011:

Bonalbo $51,444

Byron Bay $50,633

Casino $1,986

Coraki $3,354

Kyogle $2,400

Lismore $13,135

Mullumbimby $35,927

Tweed Heads $269,254



Man flown to hospital after being kicked in head by cow

Man flown to hospital after being kicked in head by cow

A man was kicked in the head by a cow on a Northern Rivers property

Colour run a bright idea to support community

premium_icon Colour run a bright idea to support community

St John's College Woodlawn will soon bring the colour run to Lismore

Mayor's big plan to help struggling Lismore CBD

Mayor's big plan to help struggling Lismore CBD

Money back to businesses, changes to rate structure

Local Partners