BATHURST Regional Council has responded to the findings of a parliamentary inquiry into health outcomes and access to health services in rural, regional and remote NSW.
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The findings were handed down in May, almost 12 months to the day representatives of Bathurst council sat for a hearing.
After reviewing the findings, council's director of Environmental, Planning and Building Services, Neil Southorn, recommended council continue to lobby for better services for Bathurst.
"The findings and recommendations of the inquiry are far reaching (including some dissenting opinion that would have been more far reaching) and have direct relevance to the future of health services in the Bathurst region," he said in a report to the June 15 council meeting.
"Whilst the government is yet to fully respond to the recommendations in the report, the government has appointed the Hon. Bronnie Taylor MLC as Minister for Regional Health in a newly created Ministry. This role complements the Minister's role as Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Women.
"It is recommended council continue its efforts to secure further commitment from government to secure better health services and infrastructure for the Bathurst region."
The report was on the agenda for the council meeting on the same day that the NSW Government announced a $200 million redevelopment for Bathurst Hospital.
Councillors addressed the funding during discussion of the report, which was penned well before the redevelopment was announced.
"It was actually the director of Environmental, Planning and Building Services and myself that went to this inquiry out in Wellington last year and, look, the outcome has astounded us, I think. The actual bringing down of this report was just an absolute slap in the face to the bureaucrats that are actually in charge of this and other health districts," councillor Warren Aubin said.
"... We've lobbied through our health services action group and council. We've lobbied for more staff, more beds, more professional services, as in specialists, to come to our hospital and up to now it's been an uphill battle, but can I say last week with the announcement of 10,000 new health jobs for NSW and rural NSW by the state government, that was one of the things that come out of this paper.
"Today ... $200 million dollars for infrastructure at our hospital has been announced and that's one of the things we've been banging on about for the last three years, probably four years just about now. It's a fantastic outcome."
Deputy mayor Ben Fry called the final report from the parliamentary inquiry a "critical document" and acknowledged the lobbying efforts in Bathurst.
"I think we're all excited and we know the lobbying that's happened from this council and the past councils to improve the health infrastructure in Bathurst, and I think we were all excited to hear that news today that it works," he said.
The NSW Government will need respond to the final report by November 7, 2022.
The committee that conducted the inquiry has also recommended a further inquiry to report on the progress and developments to address the matters raised in two years' time.
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