I WRITE in support of Dr Sujon Purkayastha and your editorial which calls for the health authorities to consider building a new hospital for Goulburn on a new site (Goulburn Post, May 21).
I was a consultant general surgeon in Goulburn for 25 years and during all those years saw bits and pieces added on to what is obvious to all clinicians who have worked there, a conglomeration of a building, which has made treating patients with modern standards of care increasingly difficult, not easier.
For many years over holiday periods, some of the busiest periods of the year for surgical casualties, the surgeons were forced to operate in a minor operating theatre so small that the analogy of being too small to swing a cat comes to mind.
This was ostensibly to give staff time off during holiday periods and to redecorate the main theatre block but in reality was designed to allow health authorities to save money, to the detriment of good patient care.
I believe faults have been voiced by clinicians and staff working in the newly renovated theatre block, that the design leaves a lot to be desired from the point of view of ease of patient access and handling.
This has arisen because of lack of consultation with clinicians actually working in the hospital, by politicians and health bureaucrats working in offices remote from a clinical setting and who think they know best.
The specialists working at the hospital have over the years, had to fight in the face of bureaucratic hostility, for any new innovative service; the introduction of colonoscopy services, of laparoscopic surgery and obstetric ultrasound services come readily to mind.
A recent comment by a politician that the opinion of doctors in Goulburn over the years has been dismissed as simply being self-serving epitomises the problem. I would doubt that Councillor Kettle has the knowledge to judge whether or not Goulburn needs a new hospital or another health centre at Bradfordville.
For many years the Goulburn Medical Clinic served the population of Goulburn well with general practitioners and specialists cooperating to ensure a good standard of treatment.
With the retirement of many specialists and general practitioners, services now appear fragmented, patients are complaining of unacceptable waiting times to see a general practitioner and the advent of practices providing only bulk billing services will lead to “churning” whereby patients are brought back again and again for unnecessary visits.”
Patients ought to be aware of this last fact and question their doctors.
There appear to be sufficient general practitioners in Goulburn, it behoves them to cooperate in order to ensure that standards are lifted. Another health clinic at Bradfordville is unnecessary; it is solely designed to make money for the owners.
Jarvis Hayman, Goulburn.
EDITORIAL: Speak up