Evans presented community’s demands on Bulli Hospital

THE Save Bulli ED Group formally submitted the community’s six resolutions to State MP for Heathcote Lee Evans at his Engadine office on Thursday.

The six resolutions, which were agreed on at a rally of over 500 people in Bulli Masonic Hall, had a strong focus on the community’s demand for the retention of the 24 hour, 7 day a week doctor-led emergency department currently operating at Bulli Hospital.

Save Bulli ED convenor Alison Fettell quickly said members of the group requested Mr Evans to push the NSW Government for more funding to maintain and upgrade the emergency department at the hospital after he suggested Bulli needed a major injection of money.

Ms Fettel said the group asked Mr Evans to communicate the need for a much-needed funding injection at Bulli to the Health Minister Jillian Skinner, to which, she said, he expressed doubt as to whether he was able to request for more money for the hospital.

Ms Fettell said as the local member Mr Evans is expected to represent the community’s interests and convey the message onto the minsiter responsible.

The Bulli Times have asked Mr Evans for comment on whether he supports retaining the Bulli emergency department and upgrades to the hospital.

Also in attendance at the meeting, on the invitation of Mr Evans, was Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) representative Professor Denis King, who supports a US style alternative (Urgent Care Centre) to the emergency department.

The Save Bulli ED Group were assured, at the meeting, that the alternative service that will be provided at the Bull ED site will be free to the public.

“I have never ever indicated that it would be anything other than a fully funded public service,” Professor King told the meeting.

Professor King also gave ground on opening hours. At a presentation to the community on March 19 this year, ISLHD indicated that their proposed Urgent Care Centre would operate from 8 am to 8 pm. But at the meeting, he offered a slightly extended model with opening hours from 7am -10pm.

Ms Fettell said this adds an additional three hours to the original proposal – a small but important win.

“That leaves only nine hours to go to secure a 24 hour service,” Caroline Colton, co-convenor of Save Bulli ED said.

About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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