Both Country Labor candidate for Cootamundra, Charlie Sheahan and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Matthew Stadtmiller have called for an increase of support for the Cowra District Hospital and the region’s health services.
In separate statements made outside Cowra District Hospital both Mr Sheahan and Mr Stadtmiller said doctors, nurses and allied health workers were not being properly resourced.
“Cowra Health Service is under enormous pressure,” Mr Sheahan said.
“Waiting for orthopaedic surgery or cataract removal for up to a year is absolutely unacceptable. The neglect by the National Party is affecting patients.
“The Nationals are either unwilling or unable to represent rural and regional families,” he said.
Mr Stadtmiller said staff at the Cowra District Hospital “work very hard” and were in need of resources to deliver the same quality of care as their Sydney counterparts.
“We are looking at more money being spent in the bush and the regions hospitals,” Mr Stadtmiller said.
“There’s no reason why more money cant be spent out here, we’re people just like they are in the city, just because we are on the other side of the blue mountains doesn’t mean we are second class citizens.
“The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party are going to do our best to call on the government to stump up some money and do the right thing by all of regional NSW,” he said.
National’s candidate Steph Cooke responded to the claims made by both Mr Stadtmiller and Mr Sheahan, quoting from Bureau of Health Information Statistics (April-June 2017), saying that 100 per cent of patients received their elective surgery on time.
“Cowra Hospital is one of the few in the state where 100 per cent of patients receive the care they need in the required time frames,” she said.
“We recently delivered additional funding for dialysis chairs for the Cowra Hospital, making it a destination for locals… who previously had to go to either Canberra or Orange.
“I’m proud of the Cowra Hospital… I am appalled that the Shooters and Labor are using these people as play things in the middle of a by-election.”