12,000 people have signed the petition against downgrading Bulli Hospital services.Keira MP Ryan Park has vowed to keep fighting for a 24-hour emergency department at Bulli Hospital after raising the issue in NSW Parliament yesterday.
Mr Park formally tabled a petition with 12,000 signatures calling on the state government to urgently upgrade the hospital, and not downgrade the emergency department (ED).
Wollongong MP Noreen Hay and Macquarie Fields MP and opposition health spokesman Andrew McDonald supported the upgrade of Bulli Hospital.
MORE: Taking the fight to Parliament
Mr McDonald claimed it was “ludicrous” to close the ED at night – when about 50 per cent of presentations to emergency departments typically occurred.
A group of 25 northern Illawarra residents – including members of the Save Bulli ED Group – also went to Sydney to hear the debate.
“It’s very disappointing that the government once again has refused to commit that Bulli emergency department will stay open 24/7,” Mr Park said after the debate.
“This is a service that needs additional funding, that needs upgrading. We are not asking for a service like Wollongong Hospital, we’re not asking for something we don’t already have – we’re just asking that it remains open 24/7 and that adequate funding be made available in the coming budget.
A draft report released by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District this week said the number of emergency department representations at Bulli appeared too low for “sustainable medical staffing and diagnostic capability 24 hours a day, seven days a week”.
However, Mr Park said there was a difference between people not turning up, and people not wanting to turn up.
“It’s clear when you order ambulances not to go to Bulli Hospital, when you constantly say on local media that there’s no emergency doctors available, when you haven’t put the capital upgrade into the facility that’s needed – that people are not going to go there,” he said.
“The fight doesn’t stop here – we will continue to lobby during the consultation period [which ends on August 31], not only for the benefit of northern Illawarra residents, but to take the pressure off Wollongong Hospital.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.