MEMBER for Goulburn Pru Goward made a pledge to fight health bureaucrats to keep the Bourke Street Health Service (BSHS) open at the Politics in the Pub session on Monday night.
“We need to fight to keep Bourke Street open until the new hospital is built,” Ms Goward said, when answering a question from the floor about what was going to happen to the hydrotherapy pool.
Ms Goward faced a large, spirited crowd at the Astor Hotel on Monday night. Feelings were running high on the topic of the privatisation of the Goulburn Base Hospital and closure of the Bourke Street Health Service (BSHS).
In response to another question from Fran Croft about what would happen to equipment the community had donated to Bourke Street, Ms Goward let her feelings about the decision to close the BSHS known.
“It was a misjudged decision and it is not a done deal until I stop singing,” Ms Goward said.
“The Health District’s public servants made this decision without realty thinking through the implications of it – the oncology and palliative care patients and their families need somewhere to park and parking is impossible at Goulburn Base. This is an argument I am making in Sydney.”
Ms Goward admitted she and Minister Jillian Skinner had been blind-sided by the bureaucrats’ decision and that she was advised of it while she was in Parliament.
“This is a decision of the Health District and for some reason they did not think it was important to let either the Minister or Assistant Minister know they had decided it,” she said.
“Why were you not told?” Mrs Croft asked.
“I have no idea. It is not great and I have made my feelings about it known,” Ms Goward replied.
But some in the crowd thought the Ministers would have been privy to this information. As she was leaving, Ms Goward was asked a question from Ursula Stephens about whether she “would urge Minister Skinner to sack the health board, like she has sacked others?”
Ms Goward replied: “You'd be pleased to know that the applications are up for renewal soon.”