Govt refuses to reinstate Balmain Hospital 24 hour casualty

5 May 2011 - Greens MP Jamie Parker has condemned the new Liberal government for refusing to restore the 24 hour casualty service at Balmain Hospital.

In his first question as the new MP for Balmain Mr Parker asked Health Minister Jillian Skinner if the government would restore the 24 hour service.

Mr Parker asked: "Is the Minister aware that the previous government closed the 24 hour casualty service at Balmain Hospital, a move which not only removed an important community service from the people of the electorate of Balmain but has also placed additional pressure on the already overloaded casualty service at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown?

Minister, will the government restore the 24 hour casualty service at Balmain Hospital?"

In her reply the Minister would not commit to restoring the service, citing reduced demand and a lack of staff.

"I am disappointed that the government, which was so quick to condemn Labor's service cuts, is unwilling to fix the problem now that it is in power." 

"Reducing hours at Balmain has just shifted patients to overstretched facilities at Royal Prince Alfred. Instead of being seen quickly ill people are often made to wait for hours as RPA tries to cope with the demand from all over Sydney."

"The community campaign to restore this service is not over. I am seeking a meeting with the Minister to put forward practical solutions to this issue that meet community expectations and address the need for adequate staff," Mr Parker said.

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