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Medical Crisis

2 February 2007

Today Mayor Ross Hine released the following statement: "I call on the region to settle down and have a rational debate concerning the current medical crisis.

For too long now the medical services for this region have been clouded by silly political and at times, emotional argument.

Any medical services review must take into account the needs of the broader region. Circular Head, King Island and West Coast are an important part of this region too.

Surely calls for one new hospital in Ulverstone are premature at best and short-sighted at worst. Talk of an investment scheme based on political expediency do little for the credibility of this vital part of the State.

To my way of thinking, Burnie is absolutely crucial to any review of medical services. The hospital is less than 15 years old and is located at the geographic regional centre of the coast.

It houses the much lauded Rural Clinical School and a significant Private Hospital, all collocated and ready for expansion. Both of these facilities are in excellent condition and add to the sustainability of the Burnie Base Hospital.

Burnie is also the only major facility capable of meeting the vast majority of residents within the "golden hour", a medical reality that many parochial interests seem to ignore.

I urge serious consideration of expanding specialist services at Burnie but also rationalising some services on a statewide basis.

I support Minister Giddings trying to get a rationale debate.

I am confident a vital role will emerge for the Mersey in due course.

The municipalities of Circular Head, West Coast and King Island create significant wealth and together make a huge contribution to the economic well-being of our region. Surely their residents need to be recognised and respected in any debate.

Health and Medical Services are a vital right for all the region's residents".

Copy ends.

Further enquiries may be directed to Mayor Ross Hine by telephoning 6457 1154.

Authorised for general media distribution by Ross Hine, Mayor, Circular Head Council on 2 February 2007.