Question over Health Minister’s visit

HEALTH Minister Davis, to put it as politely as I can, your belated statements regarding the debate about the Mildura Base Hospital seem to be nothing more than political crap. 

You claim to want the best in services and facilities for this community and appear to think the best way to decide this is by hiding behind your desk, safe and secure in Spring Street, talking only to a few select people, who have already declared themselves on this matter, rather than show the courage to face the community directly and answer their questions.

We in Mildura are suffering what is and always has been a vastly inadequate hospital building.

It cost about $30 million to construct, and yet you can find $65-70 million for health infrastructure in Echuca, a community about one-third the size of Mildura’s and far closer to other major hospitals. 

By the way, Echuca is a truly public hospital.

As for the supposed $7 million dollar grant for extensions at the hospital, this is merely a drop in the ocean compared with the money spent, or to be spent, at Echuca, Bendigo ($620 million) and other more fortunate hospitals.

As to the much vaunted community advisory board, we all know, and no amount of political propaganda can change it, that it has absolutely no teeth and will be no more effective than a pea-shooter against a raging bull.

The appointed chairman of this so-called board has already let the cat out of the bag by saying that they did not need to canvas community input, but would form their own opinions and act on them. 

It sounds very familiar to what we have gathered from the inner halls of Spring Street.

Even your statement that the government’s contract with Ramsay Health Care is no secret and can be found on a website is not true. 

Nowhere in the contract is Ramsay Health Care mentioned and it can’t be as the state has no contract with them. 

This contract is in fact with the Motor Traders Association Superannuation Board, who have in turn sublet the contract to Ramsay.

It appears that the state has abrogated its responsibility to the health of the Sunraysia community to such an extent it is satisfied to hand over control to a group of people representing car salesmen and car part retailers. 

This way you keep any blame for failures at arm’s length while still able to claim credit if and when some good comes out of it.

Having noted your abominable treatment of Ilona Legin and your refusal to deal in any meaningful way with concerned members of this community and continued absence from the area during this debate, one can only view your promise to visit in future months as hollow and evasive.

Stephen Tittensor,

Mildura.

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