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One New Eurobodalla hospital

Eurobodalla needs a health care facility that is appropriate to the needs of its residents and provides services that are not disadvantaged relative to our nearest regional hospitals at Bega (to the south) and Nowra (to the north).

A single new hospital will result in the recruitment, retention and sustainability of specialist medical, nursing and allied health services and staff.

One New Eurobodalla (ONE) hospital will reduce the outflow of patients to services remote from their families.

The hospital we need is referred to as a Level 4 hospital – that means that it can provide the standard of services that the Eurobodalla population needs.

We need you to sign the ePetition for the delivery of a level 4 Eurobodalla Hospital, with associated healthcare & radiation oncology services.

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Why is a Level 4 hospital so important?

A Level 4 hospital will mean that a Eurobodalla resident can have the vast majority of their care in a local hospital without having to travel. This will translate to improved survival from critical conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, trauma and COVID. There will be better access for you and your family should you need to have treatment for cancer or severe mental illness. You can have local care for your child if they require a hospital admission or surgery. You will be able to birth your baby here, even if you have a higher risk pregnancy. The list goes on …

Travel outside our Shire for healthcare puts a huge burden on families, puts a huge financial burden on our local health system and increases risks for the most vulnerable members of our society. Travel limits their access to services, because of financial, transport or family reasons.

The ePetition is calling for us to have an immediate increase in services to critical care services and emergency. It is important we start to elevate to a Level 3 service now and transition into a level 4 service with the new hospital. 

We need a Level 4 hospital from the very opening of the service. If we open with anything less, the likelihood of transitioning to Level 4 in the near term will be remote.

What are these hospital levels? 

Level 1… Low-level hospital providing general level medical and emergency services 

Level 2… A Level 2 service is essentially what we have in Batemans Bay and Moruya today. The hospital can provide minor or intermediate level surgery. Emergency services are provided, but complex presentations are transferred out of area for further management. 

Level 3… A Level 3 service gains a close observation unit that is formally networked with a nearby Intensive Care Unit. A Level 3 emergency department is capable of dealing with more complex presentations. This has a flow-on effect on what level acuity of surgery, medical and obstetric service we can provide locally and lessens the requirement to transfer patients out of area for their health needs. Queanbeyan Hospital is considered Level 3.

Level 4 …  At Level 4, the addition of an Intensive Care Unit will allow further expansion of other services into the hospital. Paediatrics and specialist-led services would be available locally, with very little need for travel out of area for the vast majority of health care needs.

What’s the problem with sticking with a Level 2 hospital?

There are less health care services and procedures available in a Level 2 hospital. At present, for example, we do not have the capacity to care for ventilated patients, or patients requiring support for their heart and lungs. We know that serious COVID cases may require ventilation. But today these patients would need to be treated at either Bega or Goulburn.

There are at least two problems with this. One is that it places a burden on families who would need to travel to visit loved ones. A second is that if other hospitals become saturated and cannot accept our patients with COVID. We will be forced to keep patients here and treat them with the resources we do have locally. Our local medical personnel will always provide the highest care possible, but if we need to work outside what we are equipped for then our already stretched services would collapse. 

Your health matters … to you and your loved ones

If the bushfires and pandemic have taught us anything, they have taught us that community resilience and preparedness is key to our health and well-being. We must increase the capacity of our local health services to deal with the pandemic but also to ensure we are prepared for future crises.

We learnt this lesson during the bushfires - we cannot always rely on roads being open, or conditions being safe for retrieval. We need to be more self-reliant and resilient.

What do we need you to do?

Help us bring on Level 4 and bring it on now. Please sign the ePetition – it only takes a minute or two of your time.

7 September 2021