Coraki kept in the dark over hospital

More than 200 Coraki residents rallied on Wednesday over the future of their hospital.

Coraki residents have accused the North Coast Area Health Service (NCAHS) of failing to keep them informed about the future of the towns hospital. More than 200 people rallied and marched through the streets yesterday (Wednesday), demanding answers following a 12-month community consultation process.

Save the Coraki and District Campbell Hospital committee member, Harmony Walsh, said residents were being treated like mushrooms and kept in the dark and fed on you know what for far too long.

But NCAHS executive officer Chris Crawford has rejected their claims, saying everyone has been fully informed about the recommendation for a $1.5 million 10-bed Multi Purpose Service (MPS) merged with the Mid Richmond Retirement Village.

Weve been quite open and on the record about the proposal, he said.

Mr Crawford said he was unsure what residents were arguing for, but added that he was happy to receive any recommendations from the rally.

A small number in the community are against change, but we believe change is needed and made the case for it. For it [the proposal] to proceed we need council, state and federal government support, he said, adding that the NCAHS had no specific time frame for finalising the matter.

Negotiations over the future of the Campbell Hospital have been marred by a turf war between the NCAHS-appointed committee and the rival Save the Coraki and District Campbell Hospital Committee, elected at a series of public meetings over the last 12 months.

Four months ago, the grassroots committee produced its own report on the communitys needs and wishes, bypassing Mr Crawford and sending it directly to the Premier and Health Minister John Hatzistergos. Neither has responded to the report.

We havent given up and we havent gone away, Ms Walsh said.


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