Rosebery Hospital Wilts Away

The people of Rosebery and surrounding West Coast communities have united in the fight against the downgrade of their hospital. Scheduled for September 2007, the downgrade will see the hospital stripped-down to a community care centre. With only a handful of nurses and a GP on 24hr call, the proposed community care centre will be little more than a glorified doctor’s surgery. Despite State Government assurance that it will not remove the ambulance service and that Rosebery may even receive another paramedic, local residents are daunted by the prospect that in the event of an emergency they will have to be taken to the nearest hospital in Queenstown, approximately 2hrs drive north on possibly the most dangerous road in Tasmania. The Government received approximately $18million in mining royalties and payroll tax from Rosebery last year. This figure is enough to keep both the Rosebery and Ouse hospital open. The revenue made from companies that have invested in Rosebery and the thousands of people they employ should be considered before this hardworking town is robbed of their hospital. The West Coast is renown for its unrelenting weather. In the depths of winter when roads are closed, the weather is wild and not even helicopters have easy access, how can isolated towns like Rosebery cater for its people without a hospital?