NSW Labor is pressuring the Government to honour its promise to resolve the understaffing crisis at Blacktown Hospital, where four newborns died unexpectedly over 18 months.
A number of obstetricians have threatened to resign from Blacktown Hospital, one of Sydney’s busiest public hospitals, amid serious concerns of staff shortages and under resourcing in the obstetrics unit.
The Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park said Brad Hazzard must keep his word to deliver a new operating theatre at Blacktown Hospital and ensure the obstetrics unit is appropriately staffed.
“I am appalled by the situation at Blacktown Hospital, which is under increased pressure because of the growing population in that part of Sydney. We need urgent action, not empty words, from the Health Minister so that the obstetrics unit can run and patients feel they’re getting the treatment they deserve,” Mr Park said.
The Member for Blacktown Stephen Bali wrote to Mr Hazzard last month, asking him to clarify best practice for a hospital that delivers more than 4,000 babies each year.
“How has the situation at Blacktown Hospital escalated to this point? Blacktown Hospital is one of the busiest hospitals in NSW and it’s only going to get busier. By 2035, it’s expected Blacktown City will surpass the population of Tasmania. It is critical the hospital is appropriately resourced to serve a fast growing area,” Mr Bali said.
“I want to work with the Government to find solutions. Lives are being put at risk and this needs urgent action.”
The Member for Prospect Hugh McDermott warned the staffing crisis extends much further than the obstetrics unit at Blacktown Hospital.
“Staffing at Blacktown Hospital has not kept pace with the growing population of Greater Western Sydney. There are staffing and resourcing problems right across Blacktown Hospital and other hospitals in the Western Sydney Local Health District.
“Healthcare workers and doctors are doing the best they can with what they have. But they’re struggling with a severe lack of funding and shocking staff shortages. The Government must urgently intervene to fix the systemic health crisis in Western Sydney.”