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Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, has today announced that local health crusader Fay Campbell has been named 2018 Local Woman of the Year for the electorate of Shellharbour.

“Mrs Campbell has been a tireless stalwart in the fight for better health care for our region and an Illawarra activist for over 40 years.”

She has served as the chairwoman of the Illawarra PET committee which fought tirelessly and successfully to secure a PET scanner for Wollongong Hospital. The addition of this new $2.5 million dollar machine has helped to drastically improve the detection of cancers, as well as other heart and brain diseases in patients from our region.

Fay is also Chair of the Illawarra Thoracic Committee and has been instrumental in the campaign to ensure that the Illawarra has access to a dedicated, publicly-funded thoracic surgeon at Wollongong Hospital.

Currently, the lack of a public thoracic surgeon in our region means that local patients are forced to travel at Canberra or Sydney for treatment within the public health system. This is a slap in the face for local residents who were promised a local thoracic service by the former NSW Liberal Health Minister, Jillian Skinner.

In April 2014, the former Health Minister publicly announced that a local thoracic service would commence following the commissioning of the new Illawarra Elective Surgical Services Centre. Unfortunately, July 2016 saw the Minister renege on this commitment saying that a cardio-thoracic service would instead be implemented at Wollongong Private Hospital.

“This is a clear breach of the public’s trust and we will continue to fight, tooth and nail to ensure that the NSW Liberal Government fulfills its commitment to the people of our region by providing the Thoracic Service at Wollongong Hospital” said Mrs Campbell.

To date, the Government has yet to take any steps to reinstate its commitment to our region on this issue, despite the ongoing efforts of the Illawarra Thoracic Committee.

“Fay truly is a remarkable local resident who has dedicated her life to the health and betterment of our community, and she thoroughly deserves every award and accolade that comes her way”.

“Literally thousands of Illawarra residents have benefitted from Mrs Campbell’s hard work, commitment and dedicated advocacy. On behalf of our entire community I say thank you and congratulations, Fay” Ms Watson said.

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