Almost three years after shutting five beds at Bathurst Hospital, Management at Western NSW Local Health District (WLHD) has announced it will reopen the beds, citing estimated population growth figures as the motive for the increase.
The beds were closed on 9 December, 2013 in a cost-saving exercise by the State Government, despite ongoing attempts by the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) Bathurst Hospital branch to keep the beds open at the time.
Linda Griffiths, Lead Organiser of the NSWNMA said it was a bitter sweet victory that had come three years too late for nurses.
“At the time, we campaigned for months to prevent the closure, carrying out a 24-hour strike, a massive meeting at the Leagues Club, numerous rallies and the implementation of strict nurse-to-patient ratios to reflect the service cuts,” Ms Griffiths said.
“Surprisingly, hospital management and the media seem to have forgotten about the closure of these five beds, with reports giving the government a pat on the back for taking the initiative to plan ahead for an increasing population.
“While we’re very pleased to see an expansion in beds and staff at Bathurst Hospital, our members are upset that it’s taken almost three years to have their ongoing concerns about staffing and capacity at the hospital heard.”
The NSWNMA Bathurst Hospital branch will hold a meeting tomorrow evening to discuss the increase in services and will be available for television interviews on Wednesday morning. For any statements in the meantime, please contact Linda Griffiths or Danielle Mahoney.
Download this media release: Bathurst Hospital reopens closed beds