Dismantling of Derby Hospital reveals extent of Government’s regional discrimination

16th September 2009 - “The State Government’s slow and surreptitious transfer of staff and services from Derby Hospital to Broome Hospital reveals the Government’s preference for delivering health services to popular tourist towns rather than to the towns where health services are needed the most” says Greens member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC.

“Derby and the west and central Kimberley have a significant proportion of low socio-economic and disadvantaged people who require more than basic health services. Broome is predominately a middle class resident and tourist town.”

“Derby is also the most centrally located major town in the Kimberley, so it the logical site for a full-service hospital.”

“Yet houses designated for hospital staff are being sold off, specialist doctors including surgeons are being shipped out, medical records – dating back to the stolen generation, are being stored in tin sheds, and people all throughout western and central Kimberley are forced to wait weeks for medical attention or travel hundreds of kilometres to Broome for services once accessible in Derby.”

“The Government is ordering staff and services to be removed from Derby and transferred to the less central tourist town of Broome. This is regional discrimination on the basis of tourist attractiveness and it’s disgraceful.”

“If the Government can only afford one proper hospital in the Kimberley – as seems to be the case, demographics and geography mean that Derby is the obvious site for that hospital.”

The people of Derby, the Shire of Derby West Kimberley and I, demand that the full suite of health services which Derby Hospital once offered, be returned to Derby.”

“We call on Minister Grylls to deliver on his Royalties to Regions promises and help fix health care in regional Western Australia by saving Derby Hospital.”  

  • For more information or comments please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263.
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