“We’re trying again!” – residents to meet with senior health official in an effort to clarify plans for Bulli before community comments due

Save Bulli ED Group

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Media release : 22 August 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#11

“We’re trying again!” – residents to meet with senior health official in an effort to clarify plans for Bulli before community comments due

Tomorrow, Save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department Group (Save Bulli ED Group) will meet senior health bureaucrat Michelle Noort to seek assurances on the future of Bulli Emergency Department. The Save Bulli ED Group hopes to find out enough detail to enable the community to respond to the draft Illawarra Shoalhaven Healthcare Services Plan for Bulli. Public comments on the plan are due by 31 August.

“We were extremely pleased to read in Prof Denis King’s letter to the Mercury that he was now committed to retaining emergency services at Bulli Hospital,” said Caroline Colton, co-convenor of Save Bulli ED group. “That’s a major breakthrough. Up until the day of the public rally to support the hospital, the health district was proposing an urgent care centre (UCC) at the Bulli ED site. It is a tribute to the Illawarra community that all references to a UCC have now been completely removed from the latest health plan.”

Community resistance to reducing emergency services in the Northern Illawarra has been strong and unrelenting. The community has rejected anything short of maintaining the current 24-hour, 7 days a week, Level 2 Emergency Department. Over 500 people braved the winter winds to attend a protest rally in late July, over 12,000 people signed a petition organised by Ryan Park and many residents from all over the Illawarra have written letters to local newspapers and members of parliament.

At a recent meeting with Prof Denis King and MP Lee Evans, Save Bulli ED were offered a further small concession on opening hours. Previously, the health district wanted to cut the present 24 hour service to 8 am to 8 pm, but the health district has now mooted a slight extension of 7 am to 10 pm.

“While it looks like the health district is giving a little ground, there are several unanswered questions,” Caroline said. “We need answers, so that the community can respond to this ‘Plan’:”

  1. We have heard on the grapevine that it won’t be called an ‘Emergency Department’. But if it is truly an emergency service, why wouldn’t it be called an ‘Emergency Department’? Is something less than the current Level 2 Emergency Department intended?
  2. What will the staffing be? Will it be both doctors and nurses? We need both to adequately staff Bulli Emergency Department!
  3. Has the community been heard on the issue of opening hours? We need 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Accidents can, and do, happen at any time!
  4. Where is the 2012 triage data for Bulli E.D.? Why has this been withheld?

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Media contacts:         

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

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District’s draft Healthcare Services Plan 2012-2022 can be found at http://www.islhd.health.nsw.gov.au/ISLHDHCSPDraftforconsultation15thAug2012.pdf

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Media Stories generated :

The Bulli Times : Battle for Bulli’s emergency department gains momentum

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