BATHURST Regional Council says the city's medical professionals are experiencing a "corrosion of confidence in the system" as a result of the way the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) is run.
The claim was made in council's draft supplementary submission to the parliamentary inquiry into health outcomes and access to health and hospital services in rural, regional and remote NSW.
Council made its first submission to the inquiry last year and spoke at a hearing in Wellington last month, where it was offered the opportunity to make another written submission.
A draft of the submission was endorsed by council at last week's ordinary meeting.
The submission provides additional data on levels of service, expanding on what was presented to the hearing, and makes further comment on the theme of council's first submission, which was 'Something not right in the system'.
"The LHD has a governance model akin to a corporate structure, which is unfortunate. Such a governance structure is not suitable for critical human services," council said.
"It appears board members are selected because of their ability to run the LHD as a business. The size of the LHD footprint does not enable effective input from local areas.
"Board members seem to be separated from the reality of the daily struggles of workers to do their job properly. Rarely do board members seek input from or engage with local communities.
"Communities are therefore not well represented at board level, with the role of local health councils relegated to being politely listened to.
"The above explains the corrosion of confidence in the system experienced by those working there. The drain on morale is palpable."
Council also accuses the LHD bureaucrats of not listening and prioritising their own interests over those of workers and the community.
"The LHD is always right. It is the experience of Bathurst Regional Council that the LHD is not an effective listener. The LHD has a model of operation that sets a course and stubbornly pursues it," it said in the new submission.
"... The health bureaucracy is self perpetuating and resource hungry. It consumes a significant proportion of resources that are often diverted away from front line workers stretched to their limit."
In addition to endorsing the submission, council has also resolved to "continue to press its case" with the health district and the Bathurst Health Service.
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