Category Archives: Posts

VMO Recruitment … good news

We are pleased to be able to advise that there has been significant progress in the process to recruit Visiting Medical Officers (VMOs) to the Bellinger River District Hospital.

The first advertisement has appeared on the NSW Health’s website. This is the first of a series of rolling advertisements.  Each advertisement will have a one month cut off date to allow MNCLHD to assess applications.  The position will then be re-advertised.

Applicants are no longer limited to working in the Emergency Department, but can choose ED, Inpatient or a combination of both.  The inflexibility of the pre-existing VMO contract was a major stumbling block for prospective VMOs.

BHAG will continue to monitor the situation and meet with the MNCLHD on a regular basis.  Assuming that all goes to plan, we should not have to email the community again for some time.

Thank you for your continued support. None of this would have happened if the community had not stepped up, signing the petition, attending meetings and spreading the word.  We should congratulate ourselves, and the doctors, nurses and medical staff at the hospital for their commitment.  The Bellingen community is truly a force to be reckoned with!

The beautiful Bellinger Valley
The beautiful Bellinger Valley

Apply for a GP Visiting Medical Officer position at Bellinger River District Hospital

(You will be directed to the NSW Health Job Vacancy site)

For further information email Dr Derek Bell, Chair of the Medical Staff Council

Want to know more about our beautiful region? 
Bellingen, Urunga, Dorrigo, Sawtell, Coffs Harbour and more …
Bellingen, Dorrigo & Urunga on Facebook
Community Information – about Bellingen Shire
Things to do in the Bellingen Shire

Farewell Barbara Moore …

Sadly, Barbara Moore the founding president of the Bellinger Health Action Group died last week at the Bellinger River District Hospital.

Barb was a woman of many talents.  She was a prolific baker, a legendary propagator,
a champion of native flora and a supremely efficient organiser.

We will remember her for her energy and dedication, for her obsessive attention to detail and for her ability to scare the daylights out of politicians and senior government officials in order to obtain the best outcome for our community.

Barb, you will be missed …

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BHAG 2020 AGM & President’s Report


Main Car Park view 2

The 2020 AGM was held on 29th July 2020 at St Andrews Uniting Church Hall, Bellingen.

I would like to thank and extend a warm welcome to the members of the 2020/2021 Committee:

Public Officer (retained): Fenella Briscomb
President: Barbara Moore
Vice President: Pauline Murphy
Secretary: Fenella Briscomb
Treasurer: John Conway
Committee Members: Charlotte Blesing, Marlene Howes and Margaret Hooper
Consultant VMO: Doctors Derek & Olivia Bell

This past year’s ‘on ground’ activities continued to demonstrate our communities’ commitment to our local Bellingen Hospital with regular maintenance of the gardens that we have created and restored, including watering during the very hot and long dry Spring and Summer seasons.  This physical presence at our hospital reminds senior executives and staff that our community remains vigilant and committed. We will never allow them to forget what happened in late 2009 when our community was called to action and saved our very own Bellingen Hospital.

Regular maintenance, expanded services and new capital works are a common occurrence by the health network.  A representative from your BHAG Committee (Fenella Briscomb) was present at meetings with hospital staff and contractors where she was actively consulted on all areas of works especially those that may have impacted on the beautiful gardens BHAG has created and maintained over the years. The latest upgrade works included internal works to Hartley House, an expanded and redesigned car park at Hartley House including a new safe pedestrian path from the front of the building to the ramp access. Work is still in progress to improve some internal roads, main car park and safe pedestrian access to the reception & emergency entrances. With the removal of the roundabout, large vehicle access including Emergency Services will now be achievable.  It has taken 10years for the roundabout works since the community initially advised the then CE Mr Chris Crawford in 2010 of its hazard.

If a critical situation were to occur such as a loss of services or a change in the delivery of core services that one would expect at a local public hospital we would immediately act and confidently call upon our amazing community to rally to the cause.

The Minutes and President’s report of the 2020 AGM are able to be viewed by clicking on the links below.

On behalf of the incoming committee I would like to say ‘Thank You’ to our amazing community for your on-going support.  Your generous donations and acknowledgment of the committee’s work encourages us to continue in what may appear to be a stable and safe situation – though we remain the ever vigilant sceptic. We continue to represent your voice at all levels of Government and at the senior level of management of the Mid North Coast Local Health District and locally at Bellingen Hospital.

Please contact us if you have any concerns about the service or stable future of our Bellingen Hospital as we are your voice – loud and clear.

Yours in ‘SOS Bellingen Hospital’

Barbara Moore (President)

BHAG 2020 AGM Presidents Report

MINUTES OF BHAG AGM 29 July 2020 – Full Document

Hospital Parking & Access Roads Upgrade project

Parking facilities at the hospital are currently undergoing a substantial, multi-million dollar upgrade which is scheduled to finish late in September 2020. The works will provide the hospital with 52 additional car park spaces, and 8 accessible parking spaces, improve the traffic and pedestrian flow and improve staff and patient safety.

The Hartley House Car Park has been re-designed and re-paved, resulting in additional parking spaces for visitors and staff.  The Main Car Park and “Tennis Court” car park are being brought to the same level and merged, resulting in a further increase in parking spaces (and a wonderful view of the mountains).  The roundabout, which prevented large vehicles from entering the hospital has been removed, and the access road will be re-paved.  Several new walkways have been constructed allowing easier inter-building access.

BHAG was pleased to have been invited to participate in the planning process by MNCLHD.
As a result we have been able to work co-operatively with the hospital and the earthworks company AJ Civil Projects throughout the project.

In addition to the earthworks, weed trees have been removed, wood much has been made available to the volunteer gardeners, several mature Elkhorn and Staghorn ferns have been relocated to the Hewitt Arboretum, the entrance to the arboretum has been cleared and mulched, and the time capsule which was located in the old roundabout has been preserved for later installation at the entrance to the main hospital building.

BHAG looks forward to continued co-operation with the Mid North Coast Local Health District on future upgrading and improvements to the Bellinger River District Hospital.