Future remains uncertain for current Tweed Hospital
MYSTERY still surrounds the future of the current Tweed Hospital once the new Tweed Valley Hospital is built.
According to Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones, "no decision has been made yet on the future use of the current Tweed Hospital site”.
Mr Jones said the current Tweed Hospital had physical limitations and "inadequate space to develop the necessary health infrastructure needs as future demand on the campus increases”.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazard told the Tweed Daily News it was likely the current hospital would close once the new one opened.
"That hasn't been finally determined but that would certainly be the likelihood,” he said.
"The advice I had from the doctors is with the new expanded, 21st century facilities at the new hospital, it would not be an attractive position to be working at the old hospital, they'd rather be at the new one.”
But for Kingscliff resident Barbara Roughan, the answers have not been good enough.
She said one in three locals did not know the current hospital would close and that many were "shocked and horrified”.
"Many of the people I've spoken to had no idea that their very own hospital was closing, they thought this whole Tweed Valley Hospital thing had nothing to do with them whatsoever,” she said.
"It's so wrong; many elderly Tweed Heads residents have settled there to be near a public hospital and they do not realise.
"A lot of these older people have bus services to take them in to do their shopping and go to the hospital, that's their whole life around that little area.”
Ms Roughan said she believed the public had been misled as "not once has anyone formally come out and said it will be closed”.
"If they had said it right from the start there would be an uproar,” she said.
Ms Roughan also criticised the community feedback process for the proposed Cudgen hospital site, which requires people to either visit the hospital in person or submit their feedback form online.
"Many of the older residents this will affect don't have access to the internet, the community feedback forms should have been sent in a mailout to everyone in the Tweed,” she said.