Member for Keira Ryan Park has sought an urgent meeting with Minister for Health Jillian Skinner in a last-ditch attempt to stop the downgrading of Bulli Hospital.
The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District this week endorsed a ‘‘hub and spoke’’ model of healthcare to be rolled out across the region - a decision likely to mean the demise of a 24-hour emergency service at Bulli.
Mr Park said he was determined to find out what was in store for Bulli Hospital.
‘‘With the [health service] board having their meeting this week it is obvious that the future of Bulli Hospital is going to be determined very soon,’’ he said.
‘‘That is why I want to ensure that the minister as the person responsible for signing off on this decision gets to hear directly from the community.’’
Mr Park said he hoped to meet Ms Skinner next week to make sure she ‘‘understands how important this facility is to the local community’’.
‘‘This facility was built by the community and it is imperative the government realises that as the community grows and ages, effective health services are essential to attracting and retaining people in the area,’’ he said.
‘‘The time for talk is over, the minister should demonstrate the same level of commitment to Bulli in government as she did when in opposition and ensure the facility gets the upgrade the community expects and deserves.’’
Ms Skinner said yesterday it was the responsibility of local health districts to decide how they best delivered health care in their regions.
‘‘The preparation of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District’s Health Care Services Plan is ongoing and has involved significant consultation with the local community as well as clinicians,’’ she said.
‘‘Professor Denis King, (health district chairman) has repeatedly stated that there is no intention to close Bulli Hospital and it will continue to play an important role in providing health care for the community into the future.’’