1,000 signatures reached
To: The Hon. Melinda Pavey, MP, The Hon. Brad Hazzard MP, Chairman Alan Grimshaw AM MNCLHS Board
Save Bellingen Hospital
The Mid-North Coast Area Health Service (MNCLHD) has now reached a final new model of care draft which if implemented will lead to the demise of Bellingen Hospital as a local community Hospital.
We need an immediate halt to this proposed change, and consideration of other options, such as that put forward by local medical professionals - a model that aimed to allow local GPs to enter or to re-enter the VMO workforce, as well as longer term aiming for BRDH to be a training hub for GPs wanting rural experience. This was to ensure the keeping open of the ED overnight. A number of local GPs have expressed interest in either working in ED or working in the inpatient area or both areas.
Why is this important?
This hospital is a massively important resource for our region. Any downgrade will have life-changing impacts. It needs to remain a functioning 24 hour emergency hospital.
The MNCLHD propose to close the ED from 8pm to 8am, and all ED presentations between those hours would be directed to go to Coffs Harbour Base Hospital (CHBH).
It also means there would be no Doctor present or on call at BRDH overnight. It is proposed to handle any deteriorating patients by phone contact with CHBH, and transfer them there as needed.
Any ambulance calls from Bellingen Shire residents would be transported to CHBH and not to BRDH. This would include home calls and Nursing Home calls. It was shown recently on a weekend where there was not a Dr on call at BRDH that ambulance transfers from BRDH to CHBH took up to 13 hours.
This would effectively reduce the BRDH to a sort of Multi-Purpose Service – though the MNCLHD maintains otherwise. It has been the experience of other hospitals where this has happened that the service capability of these hospitals has been markedly reduced, much to the detriment of the local community. It has also led to no local GP’s fulfilling VMO roles. Not because they did not want to but because they were eventually shut out by the LHD.
Service reduction would affect ED after hours, inpatient Care and the ability of the local community to be admitted to BRDH in acute situations – as they are now able to do
The VMO’s and community clearly and vocally opposed the MNCLHD Proposed Model.
How it will be delivered
The petition will be delivered to each of the contacts above