Labor promises to open Bulli Hospital’s ‘urgent care unit’ seven days a week if elected

Bulli Hospital. Inset: State MP for Keira, Ryan Park

AN elected NSW Labor Government will expand the operating hours of Bulli Hospital’s ‘Urgent Care Centre’ to seven days a week instead of the current five days (Monday to Friday) with the aim to take pressure off Wollongong Hospital’s ‘Emergency Department’.

The 2023 NSW state election will be held on March 25 to elect the 58th Parliament of New South Wales.

The incumbent minority Liberal/National Coalition government, led by Premier Dominic Perrottet, is seeking to win a fourth successive four-year term in office. They will be challenged by the Labor Party, led by Opposition Leader Chris Minns.

Also re-contesting two seats in the northern Illawarra will be sitting Labor member, Ryan Park in Keira, and sitting Liberal member, Lee Evans in Heathcote. The Greens, other minor parties and several independents will also contest the election.

The Bulli Urgent Care Centre provides treatment for minor injury and illness, similar to a general practitioner (GP). The model of care enables patients to be seen and assessed by specialist nurses who, in consultation with medical teams, deliver treatment and management plans for presenting patients.

Currently under the Liberal Government the Bulli Urgent Care Centre operates Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm with Nurse Practitioners and Visiting Medical Officers (VMOs) attending to a majority of triage Category 4/5 presentations. 

State MP for Keira and Shadow Minister for Health, Ryan Park said a Chris Minns Labor Government will extend the Bulli Urgent Care Centre to a seven day a week service, allowing for patients to be diverted away from the stretched Wollongong Emergency Department. 

“NSW Labor understands how important Bulli Hospital is to the residents of the northern suburbs,” Mr Park said.

“The Liberals have left the Urgent Care Centre only operating five days a week. We want to fix that.

“That is why we are determined to give the Bulli Hospital Urgent Care Centre a fresh start and increase the hours of operation.

“This proposal will benefit the people of northern suburbs and the many visitors we have over weekends.

“We want to boost this service because we know there will be continued growth in our region. Providing timely urgent care and will ease the pressures off the emergency department in Wollongong.”

Mr Park said according to the most recent Bureau of Health Information data, more than 60 per cent of patients waited longer than four hours in the ED and more than 2,300 gave up waiting and left without any treatment.

NSW Labor candidate for the seat of Heathcote, Maryanne Stuart said health is the number one concern for many resident in the electorate.

“I am very pleased a Minns Labor Government will expand the services at the Bulli Urgent Care Centre,” she said.

“This means locals can seek timely medical assistance and not sit for hours in the Wollongong ED.”

Labor’s plans for Bulli Urgent Care Centre includes:

  • Monday to Friday service 8am to 8pm/Saturday and Sunday service 8.30am-5pm to include Nurse Practitioner and GP VMO workforce and extended radiology services. 
  • Additional support from the Virtually Enhanced Community Care Service and My Emergency Doctor platform.
  • Address the difficulty in accessing primary care appointments at short notice
  • Reducing attendances to the ED’s.

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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.


One thought on “Labor promises to open Bulli Hospital’s ‘urgent care unit’ seven days a week if elected

  1. Considering that staffing this unit & the former hospital’s old ED has for as long as I can ever remember been an issue (particularly weekends), what is the ALP actually going to do to ensure that appropriate staffing is always available to cover all opening hours?


    Posted by Bluey | February 5, 2023, 10:32 am

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