SLASHING OF SERVICES AT MT DRUITT HOSPITAL PROMPTS CALL FOR FUNDING
THE number of beds at Mt Druitt Hospital has been reduced dramatically since its opening more than 30 years ago it has been claimed, prompting calls to pump funds back into the facility.
Fed-up residents have formed an action group to lobby the State Government to restore it to its former glory.
MT DRUITT Hospital’s capacity has halved since it opened more than 30 years ago, it has been claimed.
The hospital is now operating with a little over 100 beds, having opened in 1982 as a 200-bed hospital, Mt Druitt state Labor MP Edmond Atalla says.
The facility has also seen closures to medical and cardiac wards, as well as the emergency surgery ward.
Of the $400 million provided for stage two of the Blacktown/Mt Druitt Hosptial redevelopment, Mt Druitt Hospital has been allocated just $20.42 million, with the remainder spent on Blacktown Hospital.
Mr Atalla said cuts to medical and emergency surgery were detrimental to the area.
“Not having a medical ward gives a false sense of hope for patients when they come to Mt Druitt,” Mr Atalla said. “They can’t be hospitalised as there is no ward. I believe the government is trying to shut down Mt Druitt (Hospital).”
Mt Druitt Hospital has been renamed Blacktown/ Mt Druitt Hospital, in what Mr Atalla says is a move to reduce the importance of Mt Druitt as a stand-alone hospital.
“Blacktown Hospital has now reached crisis point,” Mr Atalla said. “The State Government has got its priorities totally wrong, Western Sydney has been acknowledged as a priority growth area, with thousands of residents moving into Marsden Park soon. We need to strengthen Mt Druitt Hospital,” he said.
Fed-up residents have started an action group to raise awareness about the issues faced by the hospital and lobby the State Government for more funding.
Gayle Barbagallo, of Rooty Hill, runs the group.
“We have the room and the capacity at Mt Druitt, we have the beds and the operating suites we just need the doctors, nurses and surgeons to come here,” she said. The group aims to get the medical and emergency surgery services restored.
Mt Druitt/Blacktown Hospital general manager Sue-Anne Redmond rejected claims the hospital had been downgraded.
“Mt Druitt Hospital has not been downgraded,” she said. “In fact, services have increased under the expansion project with the aim of providing a better range of services in Western Sydney,” she said. Ms Redmond also rejected claims the bed capacity had halved.
“The NSW Government has responded to the growing population, delivering the major development of both Blacktown and Mt Druitt hospitals, worth more than $680 million,” she said.
‘‘ I believe the government is trying to shut down Mt Druitt (Hospital). – EDMOND ATALLA