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Monday, 1 December 2003
Page: 23287

Mr BAIRD (1:46 PM) —Faith in our public health system from time to time is tested; however, recent events at Sutherland Hospital in Cook have shattered public confidence in Sutherland Hospital and have again raised serious concerns about New South Wales Health and the Carr government's ability to manage our hospitals. Last Friday, shire resident Simone Deane took her five-month-old son, Jarrad, to the emergency department at the new Sutherland Hospital. Jarrad was not well. In fact he had stopped breathing, his body was limp and his face was turning a shade of blue. A natural reaction for any parent would be panic. Upon their arrival at Sutherland Hospital, the triage nurse instructed Simone to sit down, fill out some paperwork and wait her turn. Jarrad did not need red tape. His time was running out and he needed urgent action. In despair, Simone left the hospital and ran across the road to Kareena Private Hospital, where her son was immediately resuscitated and stabilised before being transferred to the Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick.

Today Jarrad is recovering from this ordeal. However, this could easily not have been the case. What happened at Sutherland Hospital was not a unique situation; it is happening in public hospitals right across the state, and the New South Wales government must act. The Commonwealth has increased funding to New South Wales by $3.4 billion. However, it will take more than money to fix New South Wales Health and stem crisis situations like this. The team at Kareena Private Hospital saved the life of this baby and provide a fantastic service to our community. (Time expired)