MAN SEEKS ROYAL HELP
MT DRUITT HOSPITAL GETS ROYAL SCRUTINY
FED up with watching services stripped from Mt Druitt Hospital, Emerton resident Bill Armstrong took his concerns straight to the Queen.
The 79-year-old wrote to Her Majesty in October about “the dismemberment of services” provided by the hospital, after learning she had officially opened it in October 1982.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner defended the Liberal Party’s plan for the hospital, pointing to the $700 million committed to the Blacktown Mt Druitt Hospital redevelopment.
FED up with watching Mt Druitt Hospital resemble “a field aid station”, like that in US comedy series MASH, Bill Armstrong took his concerns straight to the top – the Queen.
The Emerton resident wrote to Her Majesty in October about “the dismemberment of services” provided by the hospital.
“In the name of budgetary constraints the NSW State Government has seen fit to emasculate this once fine establishment by the removal of many important services such as the cardiac unit, general surgery, critical recovery and general ward,” Mr Armstrong said in the letter.
The 79-year-old told The Standard he decided to write to the Queen after learning she had officially opened Mt Druitt Hospital in 1982.
“Instead of elevating people to certain positions, we need to realise they have a responsibility to us,” Mr Armstrong said.
“If you open a facility, if you put a plaque on the wall with your name on it, it is the same as a signature on a letter or contract. By doing that you have accepted responsibility for that facility and should face up to that responsibility.”
Despite his strong views, Mr Armstrong was still surprised to receive a reply from “the palace” less than a month later. A letter signed by Buckingham senior correspondence officer Sonia Bonici thanked Mr Armstrong and referred the matter to the Governor-General.
In December, Mr Armstrong received a reply signed by Governor-General deputy official secretary Stephen Murtagh, who wrote “the Governor-General cannot become involved in matters that are the responsibility of governments”.
Mr Armstrong said he was not surprised by what he described as a “complete dismissal” of his concerns.
“I think what’s happening at Mt Druitt Hospital deserves intervention because if it’s good enough for the Queen to open, it is good enough for the Government to support it,” he said.
The Queen opens Mt Druitt Hospital in 1982.
The Queen at the opening of Mt Druitt Hospital in 1982 (left) and the response Bill Armstrong received from Buckingham Palace.