Let’s give local patients the help they need

Imagine if your quality of life and your ability to get through the day relied on a heated pool.

And now imagine if the future of that heated pool had been threatened, leaving you facing a trip to Adelaide regularly to get the treatment you need.

Dozens of Murraylands residents and patients who use the heated pool at the Murray Bridge hospital for hydrotherapy are now facing this very fear but they are doing everything they can to keep it open.

Without it, some will struggle to move and some will struggle to live.

I have had the pleasure of meeting many of the patients who use the pool on a daily basis and so many of them are genuinely scared they will struggle to get by without it.

One woman, who uses the pool every day, told me her muscles would seize up without it.

Another told me the pool was essential to her ability to walk.

Both women had undergone major surgery and been told by their doctors to undergo hydrotherapy for recovery and long-term maintenance of their injuries.

For these patients, the pool is more than just a means to stay mobile.

For some, it is the only time they leave the house and interact with others who understand their problems.

Many of them have found solace in the company of others who can relate to their situation and the ongoing struggles of dealing with chronic pain every single day.

One patient told me that everyone who went there had a story to share and many had found comfort in the friendships they had developed.

She told me some patients would always need the pool to get by.

If the pool was to shut down, she said she would not be the only one looking to leave Murray Bridge.

While I understand concerns for the financial viability of the pool, surely it’s vital we stop local patients from being forced out of town just so they can get the help they need.

In today’s story, Petition to save pool, spa, SA Health’s statement did not confirm its commitment to keeping the pool open in the long-term. 

I can only hope the council’s efforts will help SA Health see the absolute need to keep the pool going for local residents, so they can remain Murraylands residents.

                                                                                                                                                     Emmalie Balnaves-Gale