Posted February 29th, 2024

Nationals Member for Myall Lakes Tanya Thompson is committed to improving healthcare services in the region, with health remaining her top priority. She continues to advocate for Stages 2 and 3 of the Manning Base Hospital redevelopment, a reinstatement of funding for Forster Public Hospital and push for a much-needed Multi-Purpose Service (MPS) in Bulahdelah.

In light of last year’s State Budget, Mrs Thompson notes that while $100 million was allocated for the Stage 2 redevelopment of Manning Hospital in the 2021/22 budget under the previous Coalition Government, there were no further allocations for Stage 3 in the 2023/24 Budget.

“I am currently engaging with both the Ministry and NSW Health along with local clinicians to determine the best way forward to ensure all services required can be included within this $100 million,” Mrs Thompson said.

“I have been advised by the Minister for Health Ryan Park that the completion of Stage 2 is scheduled for 2026.

“I have a meeting with Hunter New England Health on the 5th of March, where I will be pushing for a timeline as to when shovels are expected to be in the ground, and I will update the community once I have more information.

“Minister Park has been invited on several occasions to visit the Manning Base Hospital to speak with staff and patients and see firsthand the struggles we face.

“I am very disappointed that, to date, he has not responded to these invitations.”

Mrs Thompson met last week with the Manning Great Lakes Community Health Action Group and is supportive of their petition for comprehensive funding for the Manning Base Hospital redevelopment.

“I thank the Manning Great Lakes Community Health Action Group for their continued advocacy, and I look forward to their petition reaching 10,000 signatures so I can debate this in Parliament and call the Government to action.”

Acknowledging the protracted timeline of these developments, Mrs Thompson emphasises, “There should be more support for our health care staff and better infrastructure to enable the best services for the people of the Myall Lakes.”

Forster Public Hospital also remains a focal point for Mrs Thompson. While initial funding of $20 million was secured in the 2022-23 NSW State Budget by the Coalition Government, Labor’s cut to the projects funding have made the project’s future uncertain.

“Under the previous Coalition Government, Forster Public Hospital was due to be delivered in 2025. However, with the change in Government – no previous funding allocations were secure, and the funding was pulled from the 2023/24 budget,” Mrs Thompson said.

“I have requested extra funding in this year’s budget for the Stage 3 redevelopment of the Manning Hospital to be considered and for the funding for Forster Public Hospital to be reinstated. I will continue to push for this from the new Government until it is delivered for the community.”

Regarding the progress of MPS in Bulahdelah, Mrs Thompson remains optimistic following constructive discussions with the Federal Government, Hunter New England Health, and Bulahdelah & District Health Action Group.

“While I cannot disclose specific details publicly at this stage, all parties involved are collectively moving towards the next steps,” Mrs Thompson said.

“Living in regional NSW doesn’t mean you should have poor health outcomes and regardless of your postcode, each person deserves the highest standard of healthcare. That’s why it’s so important all parties work together for better health outcomes.

“My commitment to health remains strong, and the people of Myall Lakes certainly deserve better than this.

“I will continue to fight for $20 million for Forster Public Hospital, and a Stage 3 of the Manning Base Hospital development, and I will ensure our community has the healthcare services they desperately need.”

To sign the Manning Great Lakes Community Health Action Group’s petition, visit their Facebook page for a list of supporting businesses.


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