Temora to Lose Obstetric Theatre Despite $4.5bn Surplus

The National Party claim they have their "hand on the cheque book", but Temora hospital still has to close their obstetric theatre on August 31.

Robert Borsak MLC

Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MLC Robert Borsak today called-out the New South Wales Government for building their $4.5 billion surplus on the back of cuts to rural health services. This comes after news that doctors at Temora hospital were told on August 14 that their obstetric theatre is closing on August 31.

“The Liberal and National Party Government trumpets that they have a $4.5bn surplus, but it’s just built off the back of cuts to rural communities,” Mr Borsak said.

“Doctors at Temora hospital were told last Monday by the Murrumbidgee Local Health District that there is no money in the budget for maintaining their obstetric theatre, and that it would close at the end of the month.

“This means that local women would now have to travel to Cootamundra, Young or Wagga Wagga for caesarean section deliveries, despite having the capability in their own town. This is especially dangerous if roads are cut during a flood or bushfire.

“If fewer women are using the local services, and I’m concerned that this could be used as an argument to close other services.

"In an interview with ABC Riverina on August 17, Nationals Leader John Barilaro said:

“It’s a Liberal and Nationals Government and we’ve got our hands on the cheque book.”

Mr Borsak called-out Mr Barilaro for forgetting rural communities.

“Mr Barilaro may say that he has his hand on the cheque book, but he has the Liberal Party Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s hand on him, controlling the ledger,” said Mr Borsak.

“We want everybody to take a good look at the record of the National Party in the by-election. This is perfect evidence of the Nationals just doing whatever the Liberal Party tells them to do – even if it’s bad for the bush.”

Local GP obstetrician Dr. Rachel Christmas said that she is concerned about the impact this could have on health services in Temora.

“Temora should be able to provide local obstetric services,” she said.

“Unlike many towns in the Riverina, Temora has three GP obstetricians living here – two of whom perform caesarean sections themselves.

“If this obstetric theatre is closed by the end of the month, I’m concerned that two of the obstetricians living in town may choose to seek work elsewhere to keep up their obstetric skills. This would also mean that Temora could lose two local GPs.”

Download Robert Borsak's press release here.