Media release: 24 July 2012
The O'Farrell government's cost cutting crusade has reached a new and dangerous low with the axing of the overnight emergency doctor position at Mullumbimby Hospital.
Greens MP John Kaye said: "Despite strong public outrage NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner is withdrawing a service that has the potential to determine life or death.
"Using the excuse of staff shortages the Health Minister has made a mean and nasty cost-cutting decision to remove a vital service from a small community.
"This important medical position is situated in the popular NSW North Coast and can be filled. Local health district chief executive Chris Crawford is just hiding behind spin.
"This is simply part of the O'Farrell government's cost cutting crusade which is now putting human lives at risk.
"Three weeks into the cut and one man has already suffered a very close call due to the lack of an emergency doctor. Ms Skinner needs to put down her budget papers and start listening to the community.
"Every community deserves to have appropriate services they know they can rely on in times of emergency. Peace of mind for Mullumbimby residents has been sacrificed to penny-pinching.
"Local MP Don Page, can't sit on his hands on this issue. He owes it to his constituents to stand up to his cabinet colleagues.
"The Greens welcome the community meeting in August. We urge the government to take this opportunity to listen to the pleas of concerned health professionals and residents.
"If the position is not reinstated, the Greens will be raising the matter in Parliament and calling on the Upper House to condemn this government's failure to protect lives in the North Coast," Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455