Moving forward yet watching our backs

Nearly Three years ago our Bellingen Hospital was facing multiple threats including conversion to a Multi-Purpose Service facility (MPS); a closure of overnight Emergency Services; a permanent closure of Maternity; a reduction of X-Ray & Theatre  services & a subtle threat of closure of the entire hospital due to failing infrastructure such as leaking roofs etc.

The dark cloud hanging over the hospital & the staff propelled our community into action.  You wrote to & met with politicians, health bureaucrats & the media and you marched down the street in protest & overall were a squeaky wheel.  You launched a fundraising campaign & became actively involved with on-ground works at the hospital assisting with grounds maintenance & general beautification.  The outcome was that your actions & words were noticed & noted both locally & higher up. The residents of the Bellingen Shire are now recognised & acknowledged as a force not to be reckoned with – a community committed to & passionate about its local hospital & the services it provides.

There is still more lobbying to be done such as resolving the on-going problem of the leaking roofs & other infrastructure matters and bringing to fruition Martin Hogan’s plan to install Solar Hot Water. The grounds/gardens still require continued restoration with on-going maintenance and the future of Maternity services remain unresolved.  The planned $5million expansion that will shortly commence & the following upgrade & expansion of the Emergency Department will provide further opportunity for community involvement.

Do you want to be part of a pro-active BHAG committee to carry forward the work of the past three years as we move into this next exciting phase & ensure that the objectives of BHAG are fulfilled?  All are welcome at the AGM at 6.30pm Wednesday 17th October 2012 at the Uniting Church Hall.  For further information please contact Barbara Moore on 6655 1898 or email brmoore@bigpond.com .

Your attendance is recommended at the AGM to hear what has been achieved over the past year, what remains under threat & what the new direction for Bellingen Hospital & BHAG will be.

Barbara Moore (Vice President BHAG Inc.)