1,000 signatures reached
To: Brad Hazzard MP, Clayton Barr MP, Dan Repacholi MP & Mark Butler MP
Support for a full-time doctor at Cessnock Hospital Emergency Department
The community of Cessnock and its surrounds demand the provision of a doctor full-time at the Cessnock Hospital Emergency Department.
Cessnock Hospital’s emergency department currently relies on local GPs who are willing to offer service to the hospital to man the emergency department twenty-four hours a day seven days a week and we have run out of doctors willing or able to provide that service.
Why is this important?
Over the course of the past three decades, the local GP’s in town visited the hospital, now only twelve GPs visit the hospital and the town's population has tripled, and continues to grow without adequate health
infrastructure. Cessnock LGA now has a jail that has two thousand inmates who rely on Cessnock Hospital for all their acute medical needs.
Prior to the Covid pandemic, Maitland Hospital was supplying two doctors four days a week to cover the Emergency Department but when the pandemic hit those doctors were taken away and have not been replaced.
The GPs have tried to fill those gaps but on many days through the week and after 11 pm at night there is, more often than not, no doctor available in the emergency department. The Area Health Service has tried to plug those gaps with a Telehealth service but this system is slow and cumbersome and can never adequately replace a doctor in person.
The lack of full-time medical cover is leading to an unprecedented blowout in wait times, and transfers out of Cessnock and is placing patient safety at risk.