Monday, 24 April 2017

Your View: Country hospitals

SA Country Health? You have to be joking!

I was born at Minlaton in the late 1920s, so I suppose I qualify as one of SYP’s ageing population.

I may be ageing, but I can remember the halcyon days when there were hospitals at Maitland, Ardrossan, Minlaton, Curramulka and Yorketown, and a nursing home at Edithburgh.

All built by the townspeople for themselves and future generations. Towns grew and everyone was happy with their health care.

With better roads to Minlaton, Curramulka was closed in about 1960.

A few years later, someone in SA Health, looking for something to do, took a map of the peninsula and decided Minlaton hospital should close! People north of the town could go to Maitland and those south to Yorketown.

In 2008, Country Health wanted to close Yorketown but was shocked by the overwhelming support the hospital received and changed its mind.

About 50 years ago, specialists started coming to Yorketown consulting, doing surgery, or arranging treatment in Adelaide when necessary.

My late husband and I both had surgery at Yorketown and couldn’t fault the care and treatment we received? It’s a known fact people recover quicker in familiar surroundings.

With many bequests, fétes, auctions, donations and Lions club auctions, et cetera, a large sum of money was amassed for the hospital’s needs.

This money was the result of hard work by locals for their hospital — where has it gone? No doubt into the coffers of SA Health, or dare I surmise, into a state-of-the art hospital that is not yet open.

Yorketown hospital serves a large number of towns and communities, all of which are growing fast as people come here, love the place, note the nearness of our hospital and very competent GPs and decide to retire on SYP.

One hundred years ago, expectant mums could give birth locally; now they have to travel to either Wallaroo or Adelaide.

Minister for Health Jack Snelling made the remark a few weeks ago he felt like a new dad when he was given the keys of the new RAH.

I wonder how he would have felt if he had to go to Wallaroo to get them!

Please, I beg of you, let common sense prevail, do not take the operating facilities away from Yorketown, rather increase facilities available to serve the growing needs of our communities.

Pat Hancock, Edithburgh

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