SUNDAY’S public rally to save Bulli Hospital emergency department has attracted more than 500 people.
Concerned northern Illawarra residents brought their own signs and photographs to show what Bulli Hospital and its emergency department meant to them. And they came in wheelchairs, on walking frames, walking sticks, on motorized scooters and in prams. While many were elderly, there were young parents with their babies as well. Many shared heartfelt stories during the rally of how their own lives, and their loved ones, had been saved by the dedicated and hardworking staff at Bulli Hospital ED.
Attending the rally were three Wollongong councillors Jill Merrin, Ann Martin and Vicki Curran. Greens MLC Dr John Kay also attended. State Labor Keira MP Ryan Park was on holidays and sent staff to the rally. State Liberal MP for Heathcote Lee Evans did not attend.
Various speakers presented the case for the existence of a public hospital emergency department at Bulli. A key issue was the Illawarra Health’s Urgent Care Centre, based on US models.
“It was so inspiring to see so many people, even hundreds of people turn out to Save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department,” Save Bulli ED convenor Alison Fettell said.
“Early on we had hoped to get even 50 people in winter – but to get over 500 was fantastic.”
Four resolutions were put to the community – and the community added on another couple. But the key message from the community was they wanted to see Bulli emergency department kept open 24 hours day, 365 days a year without charge.
Now the community is set to take the fight to politicians at all levels of government .The 10,000 signature petition for Bulli Hospital, taken up by Mr Park, is due to be debated in the NSW Parliament on August 16.
The community at the Save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department Rally (Save Bulli ED) held on July 29 2012 resolved that:
1. The following model be endorsed as the community’s preferred model of care for the Bulli Emergency Department situated in Hospital Road Bulli.
2. We demand that the model endorsed by the community in resolution one be adopted by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and that a dedicated recurrent budget be made available by current and future governments to sufficiently resource (including doctors and nurses) this model.
3. A community-based board be re-established to oversee the running of Bulli Hospital and the Bulli Hospital Emergency Department
4. The Consumer Advisory Committee for Bulli Hospital be reinvigorated and their terms of reference strengthened to allow for greater input into decisions made regarding service provision and patient care at Bulli Hospital.
5. The Bulli District Hospital, including its Emergency Department, be refurbished or rebuilt whilst maintaining or upgrading all services.
6. Everyone present at the Rally today commits to continued action by spreading the word via all avenues open to them regarding the need to keep Bulli Emergency Department open 24 x7, and to support further action to ensure all levels of government heed and respond favourably to the resolutions agreed on by the community today.