Cansdell slams Carr, Iemma over ailing Clarence health services

MEMBER for Clarence Steve Cansdell told State Parliament yesterday how the Carr and Iemma governments had left Grafton Base Hospital in a state of deep crisis.

Mr Cansdell used the final sitting of Parliament to hammer home the message and took the opportunity to invite the Labor Health Minister John Hatzistergos to the rally for better health services in Grafton on December 10.

Repeating the words of Grafton Base Hospital Medical Staff Council chairman Dr Alan Tyson, Mr Cansdell said the Iemma Government was causing the hospital to become a 'cottage institution attached to a renal dialysis unit'.

"Local doctors have gone public," Mr Cansdell said.

"They believe the actions of the ... North Coast Area Health Service will be detrimental to the health and safety of the people in the Clarence."

He reminded Parliament that before the last State election, then Labor health minister Craig Knowles, kitted out in hospital theatre garb, pledged a $7 million upgrade to the operating theatres, which has not been delivered.

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"The Government also broke a promise that the $400,000-a-year it is saving from the closure of the Aruma Nursing Home would be redirected to the orthopaedic service, he said.

"That funding has disappeared."

Mr Cansdell said the issue was not about scoring political points.

"Dr Tyson says Grafton's hospital emergency department is at crisis point and 'clinically unsafe'," he said, inviting Mr Hatzistergos to participate in the Clarence health rally.

It is hoped around 5000 will attend the rally at Grafton racecourse in support of Grafton Hospital, Maclean District Hospital and a health facility at Yamba.

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