LEETON shire's local representatives at a state and federal level have differing thoughts on how the situation at the town's hospital could be improved.
With calls continuing to mount for a permanent doctor to be located at the hospital, as well as greater support for current nursing staff, Member for Farrer Sussan Ley and Member for Murray Helen Dalton have weighed in.
Mrs Dalton has been vocal on the lack of services available at the Leeton District Hospital for some time.
She has started a petition calling for regional and rural hospitals to be given a fairer go when it comes to funding and attracting doctors to these areas.
"Leeton in particular, this has been going on for a long time," Mrs Dalton said.
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"I've said it before but the community really needs to make noise about this.
"I know it is hard at the moment with lockdown and COVID, but we need to keep the momentum going.
"The Leeton community deserves better and I do urge everyone to sign this petition."
Meanwhile, Member for Farrer Sussan Ley said she had been following the situation for some time, attending meetings in the shire on this very issue for many years.
She agreed it wasn't an issue facing just Leeton, but promised to continue doing what she could to help.
"What I do know is Murrumbidgee Local Health District is doing everything it can to cover the resulting shortfalls through locum arrangements and that situation seems to be holding for now," Ms Ley said.
"With an ongoing recruitment effort, we would all hope that will ease some of the pressure on the hospital's operations sooner rather than later.
"From a federal perspective, what I am doing through the NSW Rural Doctors Network (NSWRDN) is continuing to push the various incentive programs offered by the Commonwealth, which includes access to grants for site visits, relocation, education and training.
"I'm told the NSWRDN has already been able to get started on adding another doctor to one local practice, with a further graduate also expressing an interest in moving here.
"At my request, they are also working with their Victorian counterparts to remove some of the red tape restricting our ability to draw from available GP's and junior doctors coming here from interstate."
The petition being organised by Mrs Dalton is available to view at https://www.irrigator.com.au/story/7403516/leeton-residents-to-stay-locked-down/?cs=1776.
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