Well, what an exciting week! Just a shame I could not participate. It was excellent to hear that so many people attended the dinner meeting, both our members and their guests. By all accounts Dr Michael Holland’s address was compelling, especially in the context of his shock resignation earlier in the week.
I am grateful to Mike for “rattling the Prostate Cancer Support Group tin” and furthering the awareness of what we are doing. We collected $300 on the night, which will be matched by Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia to be invested in further prostate cancer research.
On Friday morning, I was interviewed by Paul West on ABC South East about the formation of the Prostate Cancer Support Group (PCSG). (Paul will be our speaker at the February Business Breakfast.) I have heard from several people in different organisations that the message was well received and the awareness is getting out there. Next Tuesday evening our Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain will launch the PCSG so fingers crossed for a good turnout.
By all accounts, Sunday’s market was a great success; a few people who could not produce evidence of double Covid-19 vaccinations were turned away at the gate and there were no real dramas. With the weather holding off, a good time was had by one and all which was excellent. Our next market will be on Wednesday 29 December; traditionally this is our biggest of the year. By then, fingers crossed, all Covid restrictions will have been lifted.
Next week is the AGM where the 2021 Presidents Report and Financial Statements will be presented. We also look to confirm the roles of President, Treasurer and Secretary for 2022/23. This executive group will consider the other Board members for that year. As you all know, I shall be unable to attend.
The 16th December is the Christmas Party at the Golf Club. Please all come along, bring your partners and friends for what should be good fun. And don’t forget to bring a uni-sex present costing no more than $10! This will also be an auspicious occasion for one of our members (big secret!), so please be there to support.
As ever gang, it’s onwards and upwards mes amis!
There is no meeting this Thursday.
Our hardworking PCSG subcommittee would however appreciate your ‘beating the PCSG drum’ for the group’s launch on Tuesday 7 December at 6.30pm.
The Week that Was
Our meeting last week
Last Thursday VMO Gynaecologist obstetrician Dr Michael Holland gave us all an insight into the frustrations of advocating to improve medical services in our area. His shock resignation earlier in the week seemed to be prompted by a report by Southern Health, the “tone” of which basically ‘shot the messenger’. Dr Holland described last week as “the most difficult of my career”.
He talked about the campaign to ensure the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital opened as a Level 4 Hospital with more services than we have now with a Level 3 hospital, a campaign that is far from over. The NSW Government has only committed to a Level 3 which would not result in any improvements in services over what we already have. He also spoke about the gradual changes in the regional hospital system from local GPs being Visiting Medical Officers to locums and ‘fly in, fly out’ doctors.
Dr Holland spoke about the strength of our community and urged us all to write to our politicians and advocate for Level 4 hospital services from day 1 of the new hospital including tertiary education services, and also asked us to attend a protest rally in Moruya on Saturday. He also spoke about the need for hospital carers’ accommodation and the possibility it be taken on as community project by service clubs and the like, similar to what happened at Bega.
Gero Mitchell gave an international toast to the Rotary Club of Athenai Hellas; she lived in Greece for 20 years.
Our treasurer Mike Young was delighted with last week’s collection of $300 for the Prostate Cancer Giving Day, now to be each year on 25 November. The amount will be doubled by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s major sponsor. Mike said the Club will also be fully reimbursed for the cost of the two Prostate Cancer pull up banners and the NPCSG’s brochures and business cards, a total cost of $860.
Postscript – Moruya Hospital Protest
Hundreds of people turned out in wet conditions last Saturday for the hospital protest at Moruya’s Riverside Park followed by a march across the bridge, organised by the One New Eurobodalla Hospital. The push is for the promised Level Four Eurobodalla Hospital to open its doors with Level Four services, whereas Dr Holland said the current Clinical Services Plan states Level 4 services would only be provided by 2031. Speakers included Member for Bega Andrew Constance, Shadow Minister for Health and the South Coast Ryan Park, Federal Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips, Dr Michael Holland and NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns.
That morning, Andrew Constance and NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced the NSW Government would provide an extra $60m on top of the already promised $200m for the Eurobodalla Regional Hospital. They said this would provide for an eight- bed intensive care unit, new mental health beds with overall bed numbers to go up by 16, and a new (MRI) machine for medical imaging.
The community has also called for radiation oncology services plus a boost in the number of maternity and paediatric beds. The new hospital will be built near Moruya TAFE with construction expected to begin next year.
Moruya Rotary President Chris Manahan reported in the Moruya bulletin that, of the politicians and dignitaries that spoke, Dr Michael Holland received the most applause. He added the topic is alive and well as is the Hospital Carers’ Accommodation project that Dr Holland has mentioned it now at all three Eurobodalla Rotary Clubs. “Unfortunately Covid got in the way this year but next year we’ll be pushing ahead with hopefully a Level 4 Hospital as well,” Chris said.
NEXT THURSDAY 9 December
Our AGM is on next Thursday at Narooma Golf Club, 6 for 6.30pm.