Last week we saw mayors from throughout the region come together outside Armidale Hospital to back the latest effort to improve our health services.
Sadly, the calls for a better health system in New England are not new. We have done it a lot now.
Even last week, it was revealed by MP Adam Marshall as he spoke alongside the mayors, that Armidale Hospital had been left without a doctor for almost 24 hours between Monday and Tuesday, and there were also no security staff and no ward clerk on duty in that time.
This year the mayors in New England have called for a seperate health service for our region, instead of being part of the massive Hunter New England Health district.
The mayors all signed the petition started by New England Visions 2030, which will make NSW Parliament debate the issue of splitting the health service, assuming it achieves the required 10,000 signatures.
This latest episode follows a long history of concerns about our health services.
ACM, publisher of the Express, published a special report almost one year ago now, which revealed a hospital system which was under great duress - even before COVID hit.
Local health leaders said then they feared that when the lockdown ended, health services across the Hunter New England Health District would struggle to cope.
This year we have seen our local nurses go on strike over the state of the system, especially nurse-to-patient ratios. They said they were struggling to cope.
The mayors' calls started to ramp up earlier this year for the Hunter New England Health District to be divided and broken down into Hunter Health and New England Health.
ACM has reported how this "Newcastle-centric" health district is siphoning resources away from the more rural areas of the region, prompting calls from New England medical staff and community leaders to separate.
The view from Newcastle is less emphatic though with an economist from the University of Newcastle saying the combined health service improved resources for the region.
But the concerns remain that those resources for the region are too centralised in Newcastle in the current system.
Thanks for reading, and remember you can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.