Ettalong ambulance station still needed, says Tesch
Closure of the Ettalong ambulance station, without a commitment to employ staff at the new Woy Woy station, is concerning when Gosford Hospital service levels are declining, according to Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch.
She said the latest figures from the Bureau of Health Information showed only 43.8 per cent of Priority 1 calls to ambulances was responded to within 15 minutes, a decrease of 10.2 per cent on the previous year.
The figures, from the October-December quarter last year, also showed a 6.9 per cent decrease of patients transferred by paramedics to Emergency Department staff within 30 minutes.
At the same time, numbers attending Gosford Hospital from 17,663 to 19,224, Ms Tesch said.
"This is dangerous for everyone in our healthcare system - not only for the patients but also for the staff who are pushed to extreme levels as they try to serve the needs of our community.
"It is unconscionable to close down a vital piece of our healthcare infrastructure when the system is clearly buckling under pressure and in desperate need for more funding.
"Premier Perrottet cannot even blame Covid for these results.
"It has been brewing for years because of the Liberal Government's lack of investment in our essential services.
"The pandemic has simply escalated the situation with hospital presentations reaching record levels, making our already struggling healthcare system even worse."
Ms Tesch said the data also showed only 53.9 per cent of treatment is started on time, decreasing by 7.3 per cent, and only 49.4 per cent of patients leave the Emergency Department within four hours, a decrease of 6.1 per cent.
The data also showed a 17 per cent increase to 3253 patients on the waiting list for elective surgery.
Ms Tesch said she welcomed the news of 300 additional nurses and recent graduate doctors at our local health services, but "more needs to be done".
"After two absolutely gruelling years dealing with the pandemic, our doctors and nurses deserve appropriate patient-to-healthcare professional ratios, and so does our community."
"While an increase in nurses and doctors is desperately needed here, I know that this doesn't mean a better ratio.
"Simultaneously the Government is taking away our Ettalong Ambulance Station, where the staff are not guaranteed a position at the new location.
"It is blatantly clear more needs to be done to fix our struggling health services and staff."
Ms Tesch said the Perrottet Government should commit to resolving this crisis.
"Closing down key parts of our local healthcare system is not the way to do it."
To find out more on the Bureau of Health Information's Healthcare Quarterly results, visit https://www.bhi.nsw.gov.au/data-portal.
Media release, 22 Mar 2022
Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford