TOMAREE residents wait is nearly over with X-Ray services to commence at the community hospital in February 2018.
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Catherine Cusack MLC said, “The community has been calling for these services for years and the Berejiklian Government is delighted to be in a position to deliver this significant improvement to local patient services.”
She believes that this is the direct result of record economic growth and infrastructure spending.
However she also recognised that the additional services had been driven by the community.
“A contract will be awarded to a private sector provider in the region of $200,000 per annum plus additional fees for call outs with urgent cases being seen within a one hour time frame,” she said.
The reality of the community action that it has taken to gain these services has not been lost on the labour or liberal candidates.
Jeanette Antrum OAM and community campaigner for better services told News Of The Area, “The announcement that X-Ray services on site at the Tomaree Community Hospital will be a reality after February 2018, was welcomed by all the community groups who have been lobbying for this for such a long time.”
“Those groups can now switch their focus to continuing lobbying for a helipad and more resources for the provision of satisfactory palliative care services.”
She believes that a helipad on site will get rid of the need for critically ill patients to be first ferried by ambulance to the nearest oval to board the waiting helicopter, saving precious minutes in life-threatening emergencies.
This Thursday emergency services were called to assist the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service land opposite Regis at Salamander Bay to airlift a patient.
Jeanette also expressed her congratulations to the members of the Local Health committee and the wonderful ladies in the Hospital Auxiliary who raise thousands of dollars for equipment for the Tomaree Hospital.
She hope that the community will keep up the pressure for improved services.
Port Stephens Councillor Jaimie Abbott said, “During my council election campaign I did a lot of door knocking and this was one of the top issues raised with me by local residents; I am proud the Berejiklian Government has been able to deliver this service which is long overdue for this community.
“This will save a two-hour return trip to the John Hunter Hospital for locals and I am really proud to been a part of this announcement,” she said.
Port Stephens Member Kate Washington told News Of The Area, “The x-ray service is a win for the community, but there is much more to do.
“Speaking to people across the peninsular, it’s clear that there is a need for many more health services including dialysis support, chemotherapy treatment, ultrasound imaging, rehabilitation and maternal health at Tomaree Hospital.
“Once operational, I believe that the x-ray service will be well-utilised.
“Upgrades to the Hospital are important, but there is also a need to improve access to community health services across Port Stephens, including mental health support, drug and alcohol services and access to specialists,” she said.
The X-ray services will save many patient hours in transit for services.
By Marian SAMPSON