Save Mullumbimby Hospital Steering Committee.”
The 16,000-strong Brunswick Valley community, well served by its dedicated emergency department at Mullumbimby Hospital, still awaits the Local Health Board’s decision on that part of the proposal that would see the night doctor removed from the ED.
The chair of the board, Ms Hazel Bridgett, correctly concluded that the proposed removal of the night-shift doctor has been the cause of much anxiety in the community. The board has heard alarming stories of patients and carers having to travel long distances to Tweed when an ambulance was not available locally. Local doctors and a retired surgeon say the ambulance transfers will significantly increase if doctors are removed from our ED, replaced by telehealth. The prospect of turning our ED into a medical transit station is indeed very worrying to our community.
Our request to the board is that they conclude this matter quickly by making a public announcement that the proposal not go ahead. That would reduce anxiety levels greatly. Further, since the most significant aim of a trial is to remove the night doctor, and the community has unanimously, and repeatedly, opposed this, we request the board to respond appropriately, drop the trial also, and agree to continue to pay for night-shift doctors.