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Bourke Hospital gets thumbs up from Minister

Minister for Regional Health, Bronnie Taylor. Photo Noel Fisher

Bourke hosted three visiting state government ministers last week, bringing with them promises to further address issues of youth crime and health services, but with few concrete proposals on the table.

Police Minister, Paul Toole, met with senior police and Maranguka to discuss solutions to deal with young criminal offenders, Minister for Western NSW, Dugald Saunders, came with promises of more grant funding for the pool and the Bourke CBD, but Regional Health Minister Bronnie Taylor was unable to offer more than words of support over staffing issues at the Bourke Hospital.

“We’re here to listen to the community and try and fine tune things,” Minister Taylor told Rod Corfe on 2WEB’s Outback Mornings program.

“As a community Bourke has a strong and heart and soul so my role is to find out what local people want.

“There is great concern from locals about the crime impact on staff and others who work at the hospital. Those workforce challenges, the loss of staff through our immigration system during COVID and the challenges that presented was a perfect storm.

“The pressure our health staff have been under during that time has been immense.

“If there was an easy solution everyone would have done it, but it is complex everywhere across our region,” Minister Taylor said.

Minister Taylor acknowledged that attracting nursing and health staff to rural communities was an ongoing challenge.

“I was a registered nurse for 20 years before coming into parliament and working in rural NSW was the highlight of my career. I wouldn’t be here as minister of Regional Health if I didn’t have that experience,” she said.

Read more local news in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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