REPORTS the hydrotherapy pool at Wagga Base Hospital is not used for inpatient clinical treatment has been labelled “misleading” by a prominent physiotherapist fighting to keep the community-funded pool in the hands of the public.
It comes as negotiations between Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) and Calvary to strike a deal that would allow public patients use of the private pool advance.
But Aaron Miles, a sports and orthopedic physiotherapist who was one of the last private operators to hire out the 36-degree pool for hydrotherapy sessions, believes increased pool hire costs have driven user groups out.
“The big issue is what’s going to happen to outpatients” Mr Miles questioned. “That pool has everything you’re after – hoists, showers, car parking. It ticks all the boxes. If it’s lost, it’s gone.”
The sentiments follow MLHD refusing to declare its hand on the future of the pool, other than general manager Denis Thomas confirming negotiations were in place to offset costs of the pool, which run at a $85,000 loss each year.
Mr Miles, of Wagga Physiotherapist and Sports Injury Centre, shut down Mr Thomas’s statements last week when he said the pool was not utilised for inpatient clinical treatment, because patients were usually discharged after four or five days – hydrotherapy would only begin after that when surgery wounds have healed.
“Public outpatients are going to miss out,” Mr Miles said of the arrangement.
Mr Thomas told The Advertiser on Thursday that a draft memorandum of understanding was drawn up to give to Calvary and that he hoped for a decision by Christmas. Mr Thomas hit back at accusations public patients would be left high and dry under the arrangement, adding there was also potential to subsidise community group’s use of Calvary’s recently-opened facility.
Wagga Base offers “some limited outpatient services” through weekly hydrotherapy paediatric physiotherapy sessions at the pool.
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