Northern Illawarra stripped of life saving services

Save Bulli ED Group

Media release : 31 October 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#18

Northern Illawarra stripped of life saving services


Residents of the Illawarra are being put at risk by the decision to close Bulli ED and replace it with a 7am to 10 pm GP type practice, says Alison Fettell from the Save Bulli ED Group.


What the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) Board has done, on the advice of the CEO Susan Browbank, is to remove a life saving essential service that we have had for decades. It is the only overnight emergency service available to the community of the Northern Illawarra. This service has been saving lives on a daily basis for years and should be upgraded. But now, based on manipulated data, the ISLHD Board has decided to strip us of our life saving overnight safety net, says Alison.


The ISLHD are trying to convince the community that providing a GP style service, NOT an emergency department at Bulli Hospital will be no different to what is being provided now. If this was not so dangerous it would be comical, says Alison. How can you say on the one hand that the service will now only treat GP like cases and will now only be open for 15 hours not 24 and at the same time say that “the service provided will remain at the current level”? Sounds like spin to me, says Alison.


The Save Bulli ED Group rejects the decision to close the ED on the grounds that; the decision WILL put lives at risk; will mean no emergency service available for the community after 10pm; and that the community has not only been put at risk, but they have been ignored. We also reject any changes to service delivery at Bulli that may mean job losses for medical and nursing staff that have served the community well, saved lives, and worked tirelessly to keep this service running over the years.


The Save Bulli ED Group put the Board on notice that the community will hold them responsible for any adverse health outcomes due to this nonsensical decision.


The community are being patronised, patted on the head and being told to just go away by the health service, the bureaucracy and the politicians, Alison said. Well we won’t go away, this is about community safety, and in fact we call on all interested individuals and groups such as the Miners Federation, NSW Nurses Association, P&C’s, Seniors Groups etc to raise their  combined voices in rejecting the latest plan for the Bulli Hospital Emergency Department.


Media contacts:     

Ms Caroline Colton, Co-convenor
Ms Alison Fettell, Convenor


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