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Community steps up campaign to save Bulli Hospital ED

SAVE Bulli ED have sent a detailed submission to the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) on why it is essential to keep Bulli Hospital Emergency Department open, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The submission will be tabled at the next ISLHD Board meeting on October 8.

Save Bulli ED convenor Alison Fettell said the group have put a range of evidence to keep and enhance the emergency department at Bulli.

“There are a range of issues that many people are unaware of,” she said.

“The ambulance by-pass of Bulli ED, for example – this contributes to bed block at Wollongong Hospital and affects everyone in the Wollongong region.”

Numerous other points are also raised. The submission contains a range of evidence and perspectives to help the Board understand the current debate.

“Reinvigorating Bulli Emergency Department is the only rational solution to our current hospital bed crisis in the Illawarra,” she said

The submission:

– includes a recommendation that the ambulance “by-pass Bulli” order be rescinded, so that suitable patients can be taken to Bulli ED by ambulance, reducing bed block at Wollongong.

– addresses a situation where people are avoiding Wollongong ED because of its notorious waiting times but end up presenting with a far worse situation several hours later, and requiring hospitalisation, another example of how encouraging attendances at Bulli would reduce bed block at Wollongong.

– shows that the population of area has increased by 17 per cent plus another several percentage points of international students since 1989; whereas the number of public hospital beds has increased by only 11 per cent over the same time frame.

– reports on statements from the Bureau of Health Information that 2012 triage data being provided by the ISLHD for Bulli Hospital Emergency Department cannot be used as it is unreliable

– seeks a guarantee that the “Emergency Department” sign outside Bulli Hospital will not be removed.

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About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local 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 pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time 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), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.

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