Lou, for Shoalhaven's partners in health, it's not a problem; Illawarra has five hospitals and an average travel time of only 11 minutes.
They also have 60 hospital beds above NSW's pro rata allocation. Shoalhaven is short 60 hospital beds, Illawarra has the beds. And they are taking the annual staffing wages; for 60 beds, that's around $46 million. Bay and Basin and Milton Ulladulla are missing out on annually!
And that plan Illawarra Shoalhaven Area Health revealed is 10-years-old. Pre COVID-19 buildings are now redundant; they'll need to be re-adapted to serve new purposes.
Architects predict an increase in modular construction, larger building footprints, flexible building design, lightweight architecture, and unique layouts.
The World Health Organisation recommends natural ventilation clean air flowing into every space, from clean air to less clean air. "Use of fences to avoid passage of people close to openings (windows and doors), keeping people or animals at a distance at least of 4m."
So is it wise to locate the hospital in a residential area where there will be multiple hospital ventilation stacks?
Or would the hospital be better on a larger footprint in a rural location?
The Ex-Servos did it with their brilliant greenfields development at Worrigee. So can the NSW Government with our hospital.
The Shoalhaven community needs to have a conversation before we spend all these millions.
The Premiers shock resignation last week may have come as a surprise to many. However in a substantial letter published in The Times last October (20/10/20), I pointed out that Ms Berejiklian had a long history of making poor decisions.
To those of you who may feel sympathetic towards the Premiers plight, I ask you to consider the following: Ms Berejiklian has presided over a State Government that has largely ridden roughshod over large sections of the NSW community. Despite widespread public opposition, she made the decision to demolish the Sydney football stadium. The existing stadium was entirely fit for purpose, but nevertheless she made the decision to spend many millions of dollars to replace it. It was also her decision to relocate the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta, again, completely ignoring widespread public opposition.
At the same time that this public money was being recklessly thrown around in Sydney, the Berejiklian Government chose to ignore repeated requests from members of our local community who were calling for an upgrade of Milton District Hospital. Perhaps the most important service being requested was a reinstatement of the maternity unit.
If you are feeling sorry at the moment for Ms Berejiklian, spare a thought for those mothers who gave birth beside the Princes Highway between Milton and Nowra Hospital. Give that some serious thought please.
If you are still feeling sorry for her, spare a thought for the elderly residents who have to travel to Nowra for an MRI, CT or Ultrasound because they are unavailable in Milton Hosptial. An MRI machine costs approximately 500K and many would argue this is a critical piece of infrastructure for our local hospital. Ms Berejiklian obviously thought football stadiums and museums were more important and therefore has treated our area like some sort of backwater.
Further, Ms Berejiklian's handling of the Covid-19 crisis also deserves some examination. In brief, one could argue that her response has been a shambles. Beginning with the Ruby Princess fiasco, moving on to the avoidable deaths at Newmarch House and culminating with an unvaccinated limo driver which lead directly to the present long-standing lockdown. Again, she demonstrated very poor judgment by maintaining her support for the Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, who presided with her over these mishandled events.
Finally, the question must also be asked, why did the Premier resign if she is entirely innocent as she claims? By her own admission, the state is at precarious stage and surely stability in leadership would have been appropriate. Instead, rather than providing stability, her decision simply resulted in heightened speculation about the nature of her involvement in the matters raised by ICAC.
Certainly, Ms Berejiklian's circumstances must be disappointing for her. However, the Premier's role is to manage a Government in such a way that critical services for the community are provided whether they be in Sydney or the regions. Community feedback should be acknowledged and responded to based on its merits. Ministers who perform in an incompetent manner should be demoted. As well as these matters, the integrity of the Premier is critical. I believe that Ms Berejiklian has failed many of these criteria.
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