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LETTER: Let’s fill the town hall

SIR, – I refer to my letters ‘Health Service Stand’ on January 13 and ‘Time to Demand’, January 27. 

I appreciate the service given by board members of Wimmera Health Care Group. 

They are people appointed by the State Government and gladly accept this position in the belief that they can contribute to and improve the state of health service delivery within this region. 

Such board members are firstly appointed to represent the interests of their community and also to ensure government policy and regulations are observed within their health service.

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People of the Wimmera and southern Mallee need to be reassured by the board of WHCG that the first part of this responsibility has been in the forefront of their minds at all times. 

It would have even preferable for the board to have approached the community in the first instance with a number of alternative stages for discussion and debate, rather than enter into negotiations with Ballarat Health Services regarding a possible merger and then inform their community at a reasonably late stage as to what they were proposing. If this had been done it would have been a much more business-like approach and have shown greater courtesy to this community. 

I thank the chairman of the board and the health service CEO for granting me the opportunity to meet with them on Friday, January 29.

We had quite a detailed and frank conversation and I was grateful that it was agreed a public meeting should be hosted in the Horsham Town Hall with an independent chairman and a PA system whereby the health care management and board could present their case and the community could then ask questions as to how the board members and management believe this action will be of benefit to our community and debate the issues. 

I see this as a genuine attempt to correct some of the angst that exists around the proposal put to us and that we might move forward in a much more co-operative and respectful way to find solutions to what the board and management see as problems and difficulties going forward. 

When the public meeting is called, it will be necessary for the people of Horsham and the wider Wimmera and southern Mallee to fill the town hall to capacity to show that this proposal is of great concern to all. 

This could be the means of convincing the board the autonomy of our hospital is not negotiable. 

Bill Ower 


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The entire February 10, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!