Marshall Fittler (left) and John Bigelow welcome Scott Marshall’s signature on their petition for more beds at the Lismore Base Hospital.
Marshall Fittler (left) and John Bigelow welcome Scott Marshall’s signature on their petition for more beds at the Lismore Base Hospital. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Beds petition reeling in names

WHILE NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner toured Lismore Base Hospital, Marshall Fittler and John Bigelow were setting up shop for a long day of gathering signatures.

The two men are key players in Our Health, the community lobby group that is calling for the hospital to be given more beds - along with the staff to run them - and yesterday morning launched a new petition so other Northern Rivers residents could join them in the call.

Our Health wants the State Government to deliver 100 new beds to the Base Hospital - a claim the group's members say is modest, given it is based on figures from the 2006 Clinical Services Plan.

The true number of beds needed on the hospital's wards is likely to be more than 100, given the area has grown and the services offered by the hospital have developed substantially since the 2006 plan was drawn up.

The group was getting strong support from Lismore shoppers and workers yesterday at their small stall at Woodlark St.

When The Northern Star arrived, Mr Marshall and Mr Bigelow had only been on the spot about 20 minutes and were still sorting out their signs, but they had already gathered 20 signatures calling on the State Government to give Lismore Base Hospital 100 new beds.



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