Surgery petition presented

A PETITION to save the surgical services at Balaklava Hospital was presented to State Health Minister, Stephen Wade, last week.

The operating theatre and local surgical lists were closed by the health department in December pending a review into the facility.

On reading about the surgical suspension in the Plains Producer, a petition was organised by Lynne Sutton of Balaklava, which collected more than 900 signatures.

“Upon reading a lead article on the front page of the Plains Producer in regard to the possible closure of the surgery the Balaklava Soldiers Memorial Hospital, Lynne was sufficiently moved to seek to get up a petition to prevent this from taking place,” Jeff Sutton, Lynne’s husband, explained.

“It was delayed some weeks, having been told there were others working to put pressure on the committee reviewing the surgery.

“Not hearing of any progress and upon reading a thought piece in the Producer by Les Pearson asking, “Doesn’t anyone care” Lynne was concerned enough to oversee a petition.

“After manufacturing the petitions, distribution was undertaken to cover Balaklava, Port Wakefield, Owen and surrounds.

“Having to deal with the distraction of COVID-19, it was going to have a very short exposure time of just 15 days, culminating on March 24.

“After scrutiny and vetting, the petition contained 933 valid signatures, about 46 per cent of the Census count of 2024 persons in the area, quite a good result under the circumstances that prevailed at the time.”

The petition was handed over to Member for Frome, Geoff Brock, on Friday, April 3.

Mr Brock presented the document to Mr Wade at Parliament last week.