Mayor Backs Wellington Community Over Doctor Shortage

Dubbo Regional Council will write to key members of the NSW Government to outline community concerns about the state of health services for Wellington if a Mayoral Minute at Monday night’s November Ordinary meeting of Council is successful.

Mayor of the Dubbo Region Ben Shields said he was concerned by the unrest in the community about a shortage of doctors at Wellington Hospital.

Councillor Shields’ Mayoral Minute proposes Council write to Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders to outline Council’s and the community’s concerns.

“It is my understanding that there is only one doctor at Wellington Hospital, who is effectively working a seven-day shift,” Councillor Shields said.

“Asking a doctor to provide the highest level of care and treatment while working seven days a week isn’t fair or reasonable for that person. And it’s not fair on the town of Wellington to provide them with such a low level of care.

“A town of 5000 people needs more than one doctor working at their hospital. The state government needs to look at this.”

Councillor Shields said in 2016 Wellington Shire Council was to be deemed to not be “fit for the future” and was forcibly merged with Dubbo City Council to ensure that local government needs were met, but he said the state government had not applied the same standards to its own service delivery.

“I am very proud of the work Dubbo Regional Council has done to improve infrastructure and services in Wellington. However the state government continues to let Wellington down,” Councillor Shields said.

“Not only does the health system suffer but law and order is another area that Wellington has been overlooked. With such a large prison population, and so much anti-social behaviour, a 24-hour police station is essential.”

“In the 2020 Budget the government was quick to point out the millions being spent in Dubbo, especially on health, and that is fantastic, but there was silence on what was on offer for Wellington.

“They could have found more money to attract more doctors, they could have allocated money for a 24-hour police station to tackle the anti-social behaviour there, but instead they did nothing.”

Last Edited: 05 Jan 2021

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