The people of Balmain and surrounding districts and councillors from the Leichhardt Municipal Council have been lobbying the New South Wales State Government (under the stewardess of Nathan Rees at the moment) to reverse a decision to close the Balmain Casualty from 10 pm to 8 am. Previously, the service was 24/7 but the State Government decided to close this valuable service at times when the community most needs it: when no doctors’ surgeries are open. Go figure.
Despite meetings and many Balmainites writing to the Health Minister, the State Government will not budge on this despite the fact that the closure adds pressure to an already over-extended outpatients unit at RPA, the closest major hospital.
The public meeting held in Balmain on 4 June this year opposed the closure because:
- many older people with chronic illnesses and low income earners who depend on the casualty ward at Balmain Hospital late at night have difficulty getting to RPA
- the changing demographic in Balmain is an increase in older people and parents with young children
- added pressure on the emergency facility at RPA
- high cost of transporting patients from Balmain to RPA.
If you want to add your voice of opposition to the closure, contact our local state government member Verity Firth at firstname.lastname@example.org, Carmel Tebbutt, Health Minister at email@example.com, and/or The Premier, Nathan Rees at firstname.lastname@example.org.
They tell me if they get lots of emails and letters, they get rather nervous and it can make a difference. If you think this stuff matters, send the emails.
Also let the other side know what we want should they win the next election: Barry O’Farrell on LOP@parliament.nsw.gov.au.