Letter to Editor

From a health services perspective, Goulburn is currently in a very unique situation. The government has committed to investing $120million into the Base Hospital, while we at The Health Hub are planning to build a small Private Hospital. There is a real opportunity for us to work together and find synergies that will result in delivering Goulburn a state of the art health product and at the same time attracting quality doctors.

While the government’s pledge is significant, it is not enough to build an entirely new Base Hospital. Through communication and discussion about our shared direction, I believe that we can reduce the duplication and maximise the utility of services in both facilities. We must listen to the public and be flexible and sensitive to the demands for medical services.

Cities and Towns alike will either be a provider of health or a provider of patients. Goulburn is currently heading towards the latter. However, the health sector is enormous and expanding in so many areas.  With leadership there is the opportunity to build a centre of health in Goulburn with the private and public systems working together and complementing one another.

In order to achieve this, we need to create a critical mass of health providers. We need surgeons and physicians to live and commit to Goulburn. It is the health providers who will ultimately make this succeed. Generational change is critical.

To attract doctors, we need new facilities, state of the art equipment and the flexibility to work both publicly and privately. These are the building blocks to creating a thriving medical community as Goulburn saw in the 1950s.

Success will only come from us drawing on patients from surrounding areas where there are huge markets. Our competitors are: Southern Highlands; Yass; and potentially even Orange and Canberra. The delivery of health has changed vastly in the last 40 years. If we can keep pace with these advancements and react to market demands we can overtake our competitors. We have many advantages: a good accessible work force living in a town/city with some of the cheapest rents/house prices in NSW. 

Currently, both the Health Hub and Health Infrastructure are working in isolation of one another, despite one of the government’s new directions being to work in synergy with the private sector to maximise mutual benefits. Collaboration between all health providers in Goulburn must be encouraged. Let’s use our comparative advantages and together, build a thriving medical industry in Goulburn.