THE future of the hydrotherapy pool at Wagga Base Hospital remains shrouded in mystery, a year on from a petition being lodged calling for the facility to be saved.
Wednesday marks a year since a petition, spearheaded by hydrotherapy pool campaigner Karenne Connors, bearing 1400 signatures was presented to Health Minister Jillian Skinner stating opposition to the mooted closure of the facility.
The hydrotherapy pool was built using $243,000 raised by the Wagga community and opened in 1993.
Early last year, hospital management flagged the possibility of its closure, citing operating cost pressure, and the future of the hydrotherapy pool has remained shrouded in uncertainty ever since.
In a statement, Wagga Base Hospital general manager Denis Thomas said providing access to hydrotherapy services was a priority, but did not elaborate about what the future held for the current pool.
“Murrumbidgee Local Health District is working with the Calvary Health Service, which is currently building a modern hydrotherapy pool, to plan the best way to provide hydrotherapy services to the current community user groups in the future,” he said.
“Once the planning has been completed, a way forward for the user groups to access modern facilities and hydrotherapy services can be determined. Both MLHD and the Calvary Health Service are keen to provide first-class health facilities to the community by sharing resources and services where appropriate.”
Ms Connors, however, told the Advertiser 12 months should have been ample time for the hospital to finalise and announce its plans for the future of the hydrotherapy pool.
“I truly do not know why an announcement hasn’t been made,” Ms Connors said.
“Surely we should have some transparency when it comes to public facilities.”
Ms Connors said she understood MLHD was considering four design concepts for a future hydrotherapy facility.
“All but one will necessitate the demolition of the current hydrotherapy pool,” she said.
“It is most unlikely that the design which maintains the hydrotherapy pool will be approved. If the decision has been made to demolish the pool, I believe it is time for the MLHD to formally announce the decision.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.