If there’s one essential service that communities can’t do without, it’s hospitals and their staff.
Generally we are born there, it’s there for us in life-threatening situations and it’s also a drop-off point when we expire.
The long-term erosion of our local services is well known and Mullumbimby is now experiencing a premature wind-down at the hands of a bureaucrat who won’t even answer basic cost analysis questions.
The Byron Central Hospital is still years off, yet cutting the Mullum night doctor is being considered in October in favour of video-conferencing.
This insane decision comes as our region experiences population growth, along with the state government’s recent approval of Splendour In The Grass, which will add more visitors.
Both of these issues were raised with our local minister Don Page and minister for health and medical research Jillian Skinner, but they didn’t elicit a response.
While health boss Chris Crawford – who lives in the region – defends his vision for the region in the letters pages, it is clear he has a PR problem. Who would regard his 12 years of service in local health bureaucracy as inspiring?
Imagine what a six-figure salary could provide to the residents of Mullumbimby instead of ambiguously worded press releases.
It’s also interesting what being in government does to one’s integrity too. Thankfully Byron Council supports the community’s efforts to retain our essential services, but Minister Page’s response to this matter is a major concern. Mr Page spent many years in
the political wilderness but now he’s in government he sees it appropriate to support bureaucratic decisions without question.
It’s not only a cop-out but a slap in the face to our health professionals. This region needs better representation as these people are clearly not succeeding in their efforts towards our interests or wellbeing.