The Federal Member for Macarthur, Dr Mike Freelander MP, is concerned with the sharp growth underway in South-west Sydney and the lack of healthcare services matching it.
With more high-rise buildings, worsening air quality due to traffic congestion and a rapidly growing population, Dr Freelander states it is beggars belief that the NSW and Federal Liberal Governments fail to provide the staff and services our hospitals are so desperately in need of.
Amongst the concerns raised by Dr Freelander is the alarming shortage of staff and surgery teams in the South-west Sydney region, with reporting by the ABC this week finding Liverpool Hospital is constantly at 100% bed capacity.
“It is of course important that Government’s invest in our hospitals, though it must be done to enhance the healthcare experience of staff and patients; not to simply create more rooms for patients to be stuck waiting in.
“I am concerned by the recent NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association report which found there are over 20 patients for every one nurse in NSW hospitals.”
This reiterates calls by doctors, nurses, and patients who share the same belief; it is more hospital personnel not just infrastructure that the NSW healthcare system requires.
Making this staffing crisis worse is skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs, with more patients being squeezed out of affordable healthcare options since the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Governments came to power in 2013.
“We have seen an increase of 43.8% for Specialist visits, 29.5% for those seeing a GP and an astounding 190% for those seeking Radiotherapy. This is beyond staggering; where is the leadership from the Government?”
Adding to these worries is the lack of GP access in Macarthur, with increasing wait times for patients and work loads burning General Practitioner’s out.
After having met with families, medical practitioners and clinicians, the Member for Macarthur states that all parties agree that access to GP's must be significantly improved for the health and wellbeing of Macarthur residents.
“I am very concerned that we are slowly becoming a more ‘Americanised’ healthcare system where those who can afford services will get them and those who cannot are placed at the back of a never-ending queue.”
“We have always taken pride in our national healthcare system, with hardworking and dedicated workers and professionals providing Australian’s with reliable and affordable medical services.”
Despite public health being the foundation of our society throughout the pandemic, it is alarming that the NSW Berejiklian Government and the Federal Morrison Government continue to underfund and under resource our healthcare system.
Dr Freelander will continue to work with his parliamentary colleagues, healthcare workers and patient advocacy groups in addressing these issues.