Scully appeals for more health workers for Illawarra

Mr Scully appealed to the NSW Government to not only fulfil its commitment to recruit more health professionals quickly, but also to provide a substantial allocation to the Illawarra.

Mr Scully outlined to the Parliament that the Bureau of Health Statistics independent hospital performance statistics had shown that more people were waiting longer for treatment at Wollongong Hospitals Emergency Department.

“In January to March 2015, 64 per cent of people who presented to the Emergency Department of Wollongong Hospital were able to get treatment and leave the Emergency Department within the recommended four hours”, Mr Scully told the Parliament.

“This compares to January to March 2022, the most recent period for which statistics are available, when the proportion of people leaving the Wollongong Hospital Emergency Department within four hours had dropped to 44.7 per cent”, he said.

Mr Scully also outlined that the independent performance statistics over the same seven-year period, from 2015 to 2022, the median time that people spend in the Wollongong Hospital Emergency Department had increased from 2 hours and 53 minutes to 4 hours and 29 minutes – nearly an hour and a half longer.

“Local Labor MPs convinced the government to invest in new facilities in the Illawarra, including upgrades to Wollongong Hospital, a new community health facility at Warrawong, improvements to Bulli Hospital and a new Shellharbour Hospital when the NSW Government didn’t want to make those investments – but we also need a staff allocation to provide patient care.

Mr Scully noted that pressures in other parts of the local health system, including reductions in GP hours and bulk-billed services and that around 100 people a night are in Wollongong Hospital waiting for an aged care bed.

Mr Scully said that in addition to raising the community’s concerns in the Parliament he had also raised the pressure on Wollongong Hospital directly with both the Health Minister and the Premier.

“The Perrottet Government cannot simply point to the new health infrastructure investments that local Labor MP’s secured and claim the problem is going to be fixed – we need a decent allocation of the new health professionals that are being recruited and we need them now so that services to patients improve”, he said.

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