Merimbula letters to the editor, June 14

SPECIAL GUESTS: The children of Pambula Preschool were very excited to have the Water Police visit with their boat on Wednesday, May 31.
SPECIAL GUESTS: The children of Pambula Preschool were very excited to have the Water Police visit with their boat on Wednesday, May 31.

In support of Dr Simonson

I was appalled to read that one of the great local doctors was dragged through the mud.

He has not been charged and these are only findings, the story made it sound like it is the end. There was also no mention of reply from Dr F Simonson regarding this article. Was he even asked?

I have known Frank Simonson for many years. He has been both a good doctor in his practice and also for the greater wider community of our area. The extensive fight over many years to keep the Pambula hospital open was something I also was involved with him. Frank never tired of pursuing all avenues and collating many reports for the infinite amount of meetings both locally and trips to Sydney etc. I have no doubt that his work together with the many committees of volunteers took its toll on everyone concerned, but he fought to the end.

If it wasn't for Frank diagnosing from my symptoms and pain that I was internally haemorrhaging and performing surgery one New Year's Eve over 10 years ago I would not be here to write this. 

I cannot imagine how tough it would be to a doctor and have someone's life in your hands. The stress, pressure and workload of all doctors to carry out their duties well after hours and 24/7 is unimaginable. I have no doubt that doctors/nurses/medical staff everywhere have all made mistakes, it's human nature. No-one is infallible.

I have always heard great stories of Frank and his after hour visits to patients. Two years ago on a Sunday at 4am, I phoned Frank to tell him that paramedics confirmed my husband Mike had passed... within minutes he was there to comfort my son and I.

Many of his patients have attested in finding Frank a very professional, compassionate and caring doctor. The many discussions on social media regarding "allegations" have been disgusting and very disturbing. It again leads me to believe that the bureaucrats are continuing their witch hunt towards a great doctor. 

I sincerely trust the tribunal will make the only recommendation that Dr Frank Simonson continues to be the great doctor and respected member of our community that he is and deserves.  Thank you Frank for being a great doctor and friend. I wish you and the family all my support and love.

Barb Aggenbach, Merimbula

Health Hazzard

The Bega Valley Shire Residents and Ratepayers Association (BVSRRA) has written to the NSW Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, as follows:

“The Bega Valley Shire Residents & Ratepayers Association (BVSRRA) calls on you to publicly explain how it is that an anaesthetist at Wollongong Hospital can be reinstated to his position, after being fired for being drunk at work and after abandoning a patient mid-operation, while senior NSW Health bureaucrats can refuse to renew the contract of Dr Chris Phoon, an orthopaedic surgeon with an exemplary record at the new South East Regional Hospital (SERH) in Bega, allegedly because he refused to embrace the hospital’s ‘core values’: values which your own inquiry identified as being bullying, harassment, intimidation and a lack of accountability.

“The BVSRRA also calls on you to publicly explain how it is that your government can initiate, conduct and complete an inquiry into the operation of the SERH, allegedly involving interviews being conducted with more than 100 people and completed in two months, but it can’t complete an inquiry into the victimisation of Dr Phoon and his family by senior NSW Health management in the same time frame.

“The BVSRRA believes that, in the event that you are not willing to publicly respond to its questions and immediately intervene to correct the injustice perpetrated against Dr Phoon, then you will have abrogated your responsibility to protect the health of the people of south-east NSW and that you should resign.

“We await your public response.”

John Richardson, BVSRRA


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