Upper house

NSW Health Inquiry calls final witnesses

A long-running parliamentary inquiry into regional and remote health outcomes is set to conclude its public phase on Wednesday, with evidence from senior NSW health officials.

Since its launch in 2020, the upper house inquiry has heard testimony in sessions held across the state – Deniliquin, Cobar, Wellington, Dubbo, Gunnedah, Taree and Lismore – about the provision and availability of health services. health in non-metropolitan areas.

Its latest public hearings are in Sydney, where senior health officials have so far been asked about staffing shortages, hospital safety, ambulance numbers and healthcare recruitment.

The inquest is due to hear from its final witnesses, NSW deputy health secretaries Nigel Lyons and Phil Minns, on Wednesday.

He has already heard this week from a number of health district CEOs talking about the state of health care in their areas.

The officials were questioned on Tuesday by non-government members of the inquiry committee, Walt Secord of Labor and Cate Faehrmann of the Greens.

On Tuesday, the inquest heard that staffing shortages caused by COVID-19 were so severe in some regional hospitals that paramedics had to help deliver babies in maternity wards.

He also learned that as local health districts try to boost recruitment of nurses and midwives, many are still working huge overtime hours and are being pushed to the brink of resigning from their posts.