THE number of beds at Bathurst Hospital is set to be increased by eight in an effort to ease the shortages that have forced some patients to Orange.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole told the Western Advocate of the increases late Wednesday when asked about the state of health services in Bathurst.
"I've met with the Minister [for Health] on this matter. What's good is the fact that there's going to be some changes made to certain service delivery at the hospital," he said.
"There is going to be three additional beds in the emergency department that will be opening up very shortly. There is going to be five permanent additional acute beds also going to be opened at the hospital."
In addition to the extra beds, more orthopaedic surgeries will be performed in Bathurst.
"Something that I've been advocating for, along with councillor Warren Aubin, is the need for orthopaedic surgery to happen here in the local area so that people aren't seeing simple surgery being sent down the road to Orange," Mr Toole said.
"What's exciting is there's been a lot of work happening in the background for that and in about a fortnight we are going to see the first list of orthopaedic surgery happening in Bathurst, and then not long after that we are going to see a second list occurring here in Bathurst as well."
The local member said he too was becoming frustrated with the number of people being forced to go to Orange Hospital for minor issues.
"It's been frustrating for me to see that sometimes a simple break or a simple operation couldn't be done here at the Bathurst hospital," Mr Toole said.
"To have people go to Orange is a huge inconvenience for families, individuals, loved ones, carers, having to go down the road for this to take place.
"But I'm really pleased that, in talking with the minister about this, that this has been in the pipeline to be introduced and will actually make a significant difference in the coming months."
Ideally, this will speed up waiting times for surgery.
"Having two lists up and running in Bathurst is going to see those simple surgeries taking place in a more timely manner, and that's what people deserve," Mr Toole said.
"We just want good services here locally so that people can be treated right here in their local community."
He said that he would continue to advocate for better health services in Bathurst.
"We will continue to attract new services and continual changes at the hospital that will improve service delivery, which I'll continue to advocate for," he said.
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