Have your say on the name of Wagga’s hospital

The new Wagga Regional Referral Hospital during its construction.
The new Wagga Regional Referral Hospital during its construction.

Health authorities have listened to the community backlash over Wagga’s hospital name change.

Residents will now be given the chance to have their say on whether the new moniker of Wagga Rural Referral Hospital should stay, or if the facility should return to its previous title of Wagga Base Hospital.

The Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) will next week launch a community survey to finalise the name issue.

The name of the hospital was changed when it was redeveloped in 2015 to reflect the role of the new facility.

“Feedback from people in Wagga has told us the community would like to be involved in determining the name for the hospital,” MLHD board chairwoman Gayle Murphy said.

Wagga woman Catherine Pierce, who has been a fierce opponent of the name change, believes the survey is unnecessary.

Mrs Pierce has collected more than 4100 signatures on her own petition, and said she had few refusals.

“I feel like they have already been given the message loud and clear,” she said.

Mrs Pierce said she is planning to again go door-to-door asking Wagga residents directly for their support.

She is also planning to take the issue straight to State Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, in the hope of reclaiming the old name.

A poll run previously by The Daily Advertiser saw 83.62 per cent of people support a return to the Wagga Base Hospital name.

Mrs Pierce is also concerned that people who want to fill in a printed copy of the survey may find it difficult to return to health authorities.

The survey will be available online from Monday via Survey Monkey, the MLHD website and Facebook pages.

Hard copies will be available at hospital reception, the Hospital Auxiliary Op Shop in Fitzmaurice Street and some pharmacies.

The survey will close Thursday, November 30.