Hospital Without Hope?


Why is Taree’s Manning Base Hospital being treated as if it has a bad case of leprosy? Hunter New England Health seem to want to bypass it, and make life difficult for doctors, staff and patients.

Why, Manning Base even (nearly) has a two story carpark! Of course, there is no strong strategy in place to address the number 1 killer-heart disease! So if you have a heart attack, you will be ferried thither and yon, to John Hunter Hospital, 170 km away, instead of given the option of being treated locally.

Treated locally? How one might ask? It is a simple solution. The issue of treating public patients at a private hospital, which has Cath Lab facilities to deal with heart attacks, could be addressed with a pen stroke, if the CEO of New England Health, Michael DiRienzo, signed off on allowing public patients to be treated at the Mayo Private Hospital in Taree.

We shouldn’t need action and protest groups fighting for better facilities in an area of poor health, and an ageing population where heart disease is the biggest killer of all.

The latest BHI statistics (Bureau of Health Information) are available to be downloaded.  It makes depressing reading. The data shows that, when compared to the state of NSW, Manning Hospital is doing poorly in a variety of medical disciplines.

It’s very worrying if you are a resident in the Manning Valley and environs, to see that many health conditions have a lower than expected result when compared to the state of NSW.

This is not necessarily the fault of the Hospital or staff. The Manning area has older age patients who could be considered “high risk”. Therefore, surely it makes sense to provide additional funding to ensure that a high risk area is appropriately funded, as this will help reduce the poor results.

The BHI information clearly demonstrates that the Manning Base Hospital is doing poorly in acute care conditions. This was addressed in the shocking recent trauma report, but the issues have not yet been adequately addressed or discussed. It is not good enough to publicly state that Manning Hospital was assessed for trauma capacity and not acute care. Trauma is a part of acute care!

It seems discussions are underway to obtain funding for public cardiac patients (those with no private health cover) to be sent from the Manning to Port Macquarie Hospital 80kms away, for treatment.

Well, it’s closer than  John Hunter. But WHY won’t the bureaucrats and politicians simply fund a Cath lab at Manning Base? Or, agree to a private/public partnership for uninsured patients  to be treated at the Mayo in Taree ( angiograms/stents etc) and returned to Manning Base hospital. 4.5 ks apart. No cranes required. Just a pen. Such private/public co-operative arrangements are in place in NSW and other states.

Too Long A Wait

It’s ludicrous too, that Ambulances come under the same  plan. Recently we know of a patient at Manning Base Hospital who required treatment and an ambulance was called FROM the Hunter, to transfer her from Manning Base in Taree to the Mayo in Taree which meant waiting for two hours for the ambulance to arrive to drive her 4.5kms.

There’s a few bods who need a transplant… of common sense!













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