Strong community support for a rally being held at Gateway Island on Sunday is absolutely crucial in securing the Border a new hospital, a peak medical group says.
The Border Medical Association said it was essential for people to turn out in significant numbers.
The clear precedent, it said, was a rally at the same location in 2010 where 1400 people turned out as part of an ongoing, ultimately successful campaign to secure $70 million in federal government funding for the Albury-Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre.
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Deputy chair David Clancy said the association was "really pleased to see" that an apolitical lobby group such as Better Border Health had been formed in order to secure the Border a new, greenfield-site hospital.
"We just need to make sure that everyone understands that it's apolitical," he said.
Dr Clancy said that was because the association "did not want to continue this tit-for-tat" between the NSW, Victorian and federal governments over who should have responsibility for building a new hospital.
Better Border Health was launched a week ago with the goal of securing at least 5000 signatures to a petition calling for a new Albury-Wodonga hospital.
The launch was used also to announce the rally, which will begin on Sunday at 11am.
At the launch, group member Di Thomas said the rally aimed to get everyone involved and "to have them understand that this is an issue that is vital to every single person who lives in our community and not just Albury-Wodonga".
"The development of a new regional hospital is imperative in servicing those communities around us on both sides of the border."
Dr Clancy, who in his association role attended the launch in support, emphasised the important role the rally would play in getting a clear message on a new hospital to government.
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"And that is it's actually recognised by the powers-that-be that this is not just pie in the sky, that this is where our community is positioned," he said.
Association chair Barbara Robertson said the extreme difficulties in delivering effective public health care because of the enormous inefficiencies inherent in the two-campus set-up - with each site not fit for purpose - was being experienced by people throughout the wider Border community.
Dr Robertson said she quite regularly met people who had far-from-favorable experiences because the area's hospital infrastructure was not up to scratch.
"People have to get their treatment in corridors," she said.
"There's people having to wait for hours and hours when they feel their treatment is critical.
"It's people being emailed to have their surgery cancelled, people having to wait to get emergency surgery done because of lack of capacity."
Dr Clancy said the association was "increasingly hearing of people who are leaving their region to seek health care".
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