Labor is calling on the NSW Government to urgently implement the recommendations in a NSW parliamentary inquiry’s damning report into the provision of health services throughout South West Sydney.
The report found that health and hospital services across the south west have been subject to historic levels of underfunding.
The report also found that people living in South-West and Western Sydney face much longer waiting times for essential health services than the rest of the Sydney metropolitan area, are forced to travel long distances for care that should be local, and that medical staff face shortages of key equipment.
Doctors giving evidence before the inquiry have compared the standard of healthcare available in Western and South Western Sydney to that of developing countries.
This evidence drew attention to serious issues including:
- The rationing of dialysis treatment from 3 to 2 times per week,
- Acute mental health patients waiting more than 100 hours for care,
- Elective surgery waiting times of over 500 days including to screen for colon cancer,
- Acute appendicitis patients having to travel 50km from Campbelltown to Randwick,
- Children travelling an hour for emergency services that their lives depended on,
- That junior doctors are so overworked they’re committing suicide at much higher rates.
Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park said: “This report from the Parliamentary Inquiry is damning. It has found massive and systemic failings in health services across South-West Sydney.
“We’ve heard horror stories from every hospital in the region from Camden and Campbelltown to Fairfield and Liverpool.”
Mr Park called for the Government to urgently implement the report’s recommendations, which include:
- A review of the funding methodology for Local Health Districts to ensure fairer allocation of resources to growth areas like South-Western Sydney
- Urgent action to address safety issues in healthcare at Liverpool, Campbelltown and Fairfield Hospitals,
- Fast-tracking the site selection for the new Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital,
- Securing land within the Aerotropolis precinct for a future health facility (including expanded children’s services) to meet future population needs
Shadow Minister for Western Sydney and Labor Member for Campbelltown Greg Warren said: “Our local health services across South West Sydney have been chronically underfunded by the NSW Liberals – despite near record population growth.
“Lives are at stake here. The people of the south-west should be able to have confidence in our public health system. The neglect must end now.”