MEDIA RELEASE 4 July 2008
DEADLINE FOR MERSEY DEAL The Cradle Coast Authority and Mayors of its nine member Councils want the State and Federal Health Ministers to return the Mersey Hospital to State operation by the end of the month. Coroner Rod Chandler’s comments this week are a stark reminder that the region needs to end a decade of hospital politics and get on with the job of restructuring its hospital services. This cannot happen until both of the region’s major hospitals are part of the same health system. The target date for the Mersey Hospital to return to State operation passed this week, and the end of the month will mark the first anniversary of the Howard Government’s Mersey intervention. Both Ministers have stated their own views on the Mersey’s future role in its local area and the broader health system but, after a month of negotiation, no agreement has been reached. With all the reports commissioned over recent years, major funding commitments from both governments and the same party in power at both levels, this should be a simple task. The Mayors want both Ministers to visit the region by the end of this month to explain how their plans for the Mersey, the State’s health plan and other recent funding commitments fit together, and outline their agreed workplan and timetable for an improved, integrated regional health system. More delays will further erode morale in our hospitals and confidence in the services they provide.
6431 6285, 0438 316 285