Local MP Adam Marshall launched a community campaign in Moree today pushing for a brand new hospital.
A wide range of local community members gathered at the hospital’s helipad to show support for the initiative.
Mr Marshall said the important issue not only effected the local township but also the vast district that relies on Moree for their medical needs.
Together with Moree Plains Shire mayor Katrina Humphries, he distributed a petition calling for “as many signatures as possible” supporting the demolition and construction of a new hospital.
“It is estimated this project will cost $80 million which puts it as a much bigger project than Armidale, at $60 (million) and Inverell at $60 (million).
“Armidale’s hospital will be finished next month and Inverell’s started last month and I want to make it three from three; it’s about time Moree had a new hospital,” Mr Marshall said.
As one of the busiest district hospitals in the whole New England North West region due to its location, Mr Marshall described Moree’s facilities as being antiquated.
“We have terrific staff trying to deliver 21st century health care to the vast community with facilities that were built for health care in the last century, or even the one before that,” he said.
Mr Marshall said Moree’s operating theatre was the busiest of any district hospitals in the area and professionals predicted those numbers to rise.
The new hospital would sufficiently cater for future health needs of the wide community including extra beds, more room for staff, specialist services and acute health services.
“We’ve seen this with the start of the renal dialysis unit which will open next month. This has been built to accommodate a new hospital beside it so we wouldn’t have to touch it when replacing the old hospital.”
Mr Marshall hoped residents would sign the petition, which will be available at council headquarters, Adam’s office, Fishabout and via email.
“Let’s show the government this is something the whole community want, need and are demanding. If we do, I am sure this will be a success,” he said.
Cr Humphries said there were issues with the hospital, the helipad, parking and other facilities which needed to be addressed.
“It’s often geographics that bust people health-wise in the bush and we all know the importance of medical services in Moree,” she said.
As the first to sign the petition on Wednesday, Cr Humphries encouraged others to follow suit.
“We’re blessed to have visiting health professionals but we need to have up to date, modern facilities to keep them here.
Cr Humphries described the Moree hospital as a gateway to the north west region servicing Lightning Ridge, Collarenebri, Walgett and Mungindi.
“Travelling more than three hours in 2018 to seek medical health is just not acceptable.
“I have great faith in Adam and we need to prove to the government that we need this,” Cr Humphries said.