The Save Bulli ED has sent a summary to Heathcote MP Lee Evans, before his meeting on future directions, for Bulli Hospita, with the head of the local ISLHD Health Board Professor Denis King.
Save Bulli ED reps wanted to meet with Mr Evans before both the meeting and the public rally. Unfortunately Mr Evan’s expected bimonthly Meeting in the Cafe down in Thirroul on July 21 is not taking place. Note – Mr Evan’s electorate office is in the Sutherland Shire area.
The Save Bulli ED Summary says : What the community wants, based on feedback received to date
- 24/7 Emergency Department to be maintained at Bulli Hospital with no weekend or overnight closures
- Bulli Hospital to be adequately resourced to function effectively as a Level 2 Emergency Department, its current level of standing in the NSW Health network
- role of Bulli Hospital to triage, stabilise and treat/transfer to be retained for the community
- doctors and nurses to be recruited specifically to work at Bulli Hospital Emergency Department, not rostered on from elsewhere
- Emergency Department equipment which has been secretly taken away from Bulli Hospital and commandeered to central hospitals to be returned
- a Community Hospital Board to be reestablished, as an integral part of the public health system to ensure services are relevant and effective funding to be given to public hospital emergency departments, not urgent care centres
- ambulances to be allowed to take suitable patients to Bulli Hospital, and the
- ambulance “Bypass Bulli” order revoked.
Please support the community on these points. All of the above seeks only to restore or retain our vital health services!
What the community is saying on this issue
- When local people find out, a common response is, “oh, no, it’s not under threat again, is it?” HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO FIGHT FOR OUR HOSPITAL??”
- “My family have been to Bulli Emergency Department a few times. They treated us so well.” Nearly everyone has a story about how Bulli E.D. helped their family in a crisis. Bulli E.D. has treated children with severe asthma attacks; treated and stabilised people with chest pains and suspected heart attacks; stopped the bleeding from arteries severed in accidents; everyone has a story. BULLI HOSPITAL SAVES LIVES
- “What’s an urgent care centre?” many people ask. Nobody knows the answer to this question. Unlike an emergency department, there is no definition of an urgent care centre. Basically, it’s whatever some private practice can make money from. URGENT CARE CENTRES ARE A BUSINESS MODEL, NOT A HEALTH MODEL
- “They’ve been running it down for years, it’s shameful.” Nearly everyone we meet on the street says this. 10,000 people signed a petition against the closure. EVERY VOTER IS AWARE OF THIS ISSUE AND IS WAITING TO SEE YOUR RESPONSE.
- “What happened to all of that equipment we raised the money for?” “What’s happened to that casualty room with all the heart monitors?” “Where are the mammogram machines that me and other volunteers put so many hours into fundraising to buy for our hospital?” (from several older residents of Woonona) THIS COMMUNITY FEELS GUTTED BY THE NSW GOVERNMENT
- “My son wouldn’t be alive now without Bulli Hospital.” (from a story shared by a mother on facebook) PEOPLE DIE IF THEY CAN”T GET TO AN EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT
- “I just feel horrified to think about it.” (from Alison Fettell, convenor of Save Bulli ED Group) THIS COMMUNITY IS PREPARED TO FIGHT FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES
A Few Moments From a Long History
- 1887 Bulli Mine disaster. 81 deaths.
- 1890 Public meeting at the Oddfellows Hall (now Bulli Masonic Hall) resolved to build a hospital. Plans were quickly formed and underway. The land for Bulli Hospital was donated by a community member, Mrs Organ. Many professionals donated their time for free. Substantial donations made.
- 1893 Bulli Hospital was officially opened. Miners’ Lodges subscriptions of one penny per week. Voting members one pound a year.
- 1899 Contagious diseases ward built
- 1916 Horse drawn ambulance
- 1919 Flu epidemic. Temporary ward at Woonona Public School for flu victims set up.
- 1924 48 hour week granted to staff. Training hospital for nurses.
- 1942 Air raid shelters dug and dependents of service personnel to receive treatment free.
- 1946 Foundation stone for new maternity ward. Childrens’ ward called Ellis Ward opened.
- 1953 Pathology dept set up.
- 1967 Top X-ray service in NSW.
- 1973 Hospital has 98 beds. Treats 4,500 admitted patients. Total expenditure $1,090,649
- 1983 Local Hospital Board dissolved and the NSW Govt Illawarra Area Health Service formed. Services started to close from this point. Much of the equipment donated by community groups, who drew on thousands of hours of volunteer labour to raise money, has since been removed and relocated to other sites. Shame, shame, shame!
- The Northern Illawarra is not a short ambulance ride from Wollongong Hospital. Most nights there is one ambulance that services the area and that ambulance is often somewhere south of Wollongong when the call comes in, or waiting with a patient at Wollongong Hospital. It can take an hour for an ambulance to transport someone from Stanwell Park to Wollongong Hospital. PEOPLE CAN DIE IN THAT TIME.
- Wollongong Hospital will not be able to absorb the 7000 or so people a year that are currently going to Bulli Hospital Emergency Department. Wollongong Hospital E.D. has incredible delays and bed shortages. Port Kembla and Kiama need to get their E.D.s back. Dapto needs a public E.D. EVERY POPULATION NEEDS AN E.D.
- It isn’t true that “you can’t get doctors to work there”. No positions at Bulli have been advertised for yonks. It is however true that “you can’t get exhausted local GPs to work there on top of their already long hours”. ADVERTISE AND RECRUIT!!!
- It isn’t true that Bulli is unsafe. As a small hospital in a larger network, its job is to assess, stabilise and treat or transfer. If some hospitals down the south coast are using a doctor who is only present via video link are considered “safe”, how can Bulli with an emergency doctor and nurse on site possibly be unsafe? BULLI HOSPITAL E.D. USES QUALIFIED MEDICAL STAFF AND HAS A GREAT SAFETY RECORD.
- People in the Northern Illawarra get told they don’t deserve public services. But high land values don’t equate to wealth. There are many, many working poor families, pensioners and battlers in the Northern Illawarra. Many of us are not in health funds simply because we can’t afford the premiums. We may not be able to afford to call an ambulance when we’re bleeding. We may not be able to afford the taxi fare to Wollongong Hospital. PLEASE DON’T USE THIS ISSUE TO PICK ON THE “NORTHERN SUBURBS”
- People go to an E.D. because they have symptoms that could indicate a dangerous health issue and they believe they need to have it checked out. To say people are “misusing the service” because it turned out not to be serious is just plain wrong. People with palpitations, severe gastric pain and children with high temperatures and sporting injuries are not misusing the Bulli Level 2 E.D. or Wollongong E.D.! PEOPLE ARE NOT MISUSING THE EMERGENCY SERVICES ANYWHERE IN THE ILLAWARRA!
IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR VOTERS IN THIS PART OF YOUR ELECTORATE, THEN PLEASE, SAVE THE BULLI HOSPITAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT!