Wednesday, July 05, 2006

ALP to Close Rotary Lodge

Rotary Hand
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
The Coalition, medical professionals, patients, their families and Rotarians gathered today to protest plans by the Iemma Labor Government to demolish Rotary Lodge which accommodates families of very sick patients at Royal North Shore Hospital.

“Rotary Lodge provides much needed accommodation for rural and regional families of patients with catastrophic injuries who require intensive care,” said Shadow Health Minister Jillian Skinner.

“These patients are often in hospital for extended periods and medical staff say their family members are essential to their recovery.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

“Now the Government is literally going to take the roof from over their heads and does not have a plan in place for close proximity on-site 24hour-access accommodation alternatives for their loved ones,” she said.

“If the Lodge has to be demolished as part of the redevelopment of Royal North Shore Hospital then it should be done after an on-site replacement has been built.

“But no plans have been sighted for a replacement and medical staff fear that if one is built at all there will be a six or seven year gap.

“Rotary funded the establishment of the facility back in the 1970s and have added to it over the years because it provides such a valued service. It is a short walk from the Intensive Care Unit. It is affordable, has 31 rooms, accommodates 67 family members per night for 365 days of the year and has an occupancy rate of 100 per cent.

“In a letter supporting retention of the Lodge, Dr Lianne Hunt, Head of the Royal North Shore Spinal Cord Injury Unit, said that patients of the unit ‘have sustained a catastrophic injury and the implications on both themselves and their families are immense.’

‘I think it is essential to have relatives, partners and support persons accommodated at Rotary Lodge to allow them close access to spinal cord injury patients’. (See attached letter)

The redevelopment of Royal North Shore Hospital has been a fiasco, with work delayed by two years, a budget blowout of over $295m - with the estimated total cost having risen from $407.5m to $707.2m.

“Despite the project first being announced before the last election, funding allocated each year has been underspent and there is still no sign of a plan for the complete site.

“It appears that the government has lost sight of the fact that this is a facility that should be focussed first and foremost on the well-being of patients and their families and I call on Health Minister John Hatzistergos to halt the demolition of Rotary Lodge,” Mrs Skinner said.