SENIOR Labor figures have endorsed the local petition calling for increased health services in the Derwent Valley. The Federal Member for Lyons, Brian Mitchell MHR, has assisted with the drafting of the document, and State Opposition Leader Rebecca White MHA has offered to table the completed petition in state parliament.
The two MPs attended last weekend’s public meeting organised by former nurse Bill Dermody who has been campaigning for improved local health services for some years. A similar petition collected about 2000 names last year, but more than half were struck off because of technicalities with the formatting of the document.
Mr Dermody said the State Government seemed to lack an understanding of the issues affecting the provision of medical/health services in the Derwent Valley/Central Highlands communities. He cited the following issues:
- People waiting 2-6 weeks to see a GP
- No after-hours medical/health services in the Derwent Valley/Central Highlands communities
- The high ratio of aged population
- Increase in population and young families in particular
- Lack of emergency services at the New Norfolk Hospital
- Pressure on ambulance services
Public meetings to discuss the health situation and co-ordinate the petition will be held this Saturday, February 20, at 11am and noon at the New Norfolk RSL in Tank St.
PICTURED: Patrick Mulvaney, left, of New Norfolk, Rebecca White MHA, petition organiser Bill Dermody, Brian Mitchell MHR, New Norfolk resident Ryan Soto and Derwent Valley Councillor Paul Belcher after last week’s meeting at the RSL.