Northern suburbs residents are on tenterhooks as health officials meet today to discuss the future of Bulli's emergency department.
The Illawarra Shoalhaven Health District (ISLHD) board will consider a revised plan for health care services across the district for 2012 to 2022.
It could be the end for the Bulli ED, with experts preferring a centralised emergency service for the e district and restricted hours and services at Bulli.
But the lobby group pushing to upgrade Bulli ED says it will keep fighting for the full 24-hour service the 70,000 northern residents deserve.
The Save Bulli ED Group has submitted a detailed report for this afternoon's meeting.
The revised health care services plan incorporates feedback from the community, clinicians, staff and other stakeholders.
Following the board's adoption of the plan, the document will be presented to NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner for endorsment. The final plan is expected to be before the public next month.
Save Bulli ED spokeswoman Alison Fettell said "a real difference could be made" to ease pressure on Wollongong's ED "if ambulances were allowed to take suitable patients to Bulli".
Ms Fettell said an emergency department was a highly regulated part of the state's hospital network, with an assured level of services, defined protocols including triage and statistical collection.
"The community is very strong on keeping the ED and very much against renaming the service, because we know very well that it's not just about the name..
"It's about the lack of accountability in these alternative models. As soon as you rename it, it drops off the ED network and there's no assurance about what has to happen there.
"It will make life easier for ISLHD but it won't provide the regulated ED-type services that the community requires and expects."
Ms Fettell said the group had presented data including travel times and population figures and had to "hope and trust now that the board looks at the submission and talks this through".