News

Hospital crisis deepens

Bonalbo residents protest at the decision to close the hospital’s emergency department between 11pm and 7am.
Bonalbo residents protest at the decision to close the hospital’s emergency department between 11pm and 7am. Eve Sinton

RESIDENTS of Bonalbo and surrounding districts responded swiftly yesterday to the closure of their hospital's emergency department from 11pm to 7am.

A community-generated rally outside the hospital yesterday drew 149 people armed with signs and slogans.

Meanwhile, local Kyogle Councillor Tom Cooper headed for the council's afternoon meeting with an urgent business motion.

"I will be moving that, on behalf of residents of Bonalbo and surrounding districts, the Area Health Service immediately reinstate 24-hour emergency health care at Bonalbo Hospital," he said.

Local Aboriginal elder Fred Binge carried a sign proclaiming "a hospital without 24-hour emergency care is not a hospital".

"We are very concerned for the many elders in the area," he said.

"I'm worried the health service is not looking hard enough for a resident doctor."

Acting CEO of the Tabulam Aboriginal Land Corporation, Cederick Walker, shared Mr Binge's concerns.

"The people of Jubullum Village use the hospital service a lot. There are many sick children and elderly people, and they will be missing out. Already there is a lot more pressure on our community transport service for medical appointments."

Local SES member and Save Our Services committee member, Mel Martin, said there had been no community consultation about the night-time closure.

"There are a lot of people living on their own and they have no chance to make alternative arrangements. Already the number of patients being sent to Lismore is putting huge pressure on local carers and drivers. People end up there with no way to get home."

Resident Lance Kirkley said he was angry that Northern NSW Local Health District CEO, Chris Crawford, regularly told the media that Bonalbo patients were transferred to Casino Hospital.

"That hardly ever happens. They almost always end up in Lismore, an hour-and-a-half away - well outside the recommended time frame for getting urgent cases to hospital," he said.

Outside the hospital, the crowd chanted against Chris Crawford and politicians before dispersing.

No Northern NSW Local Health District representatives were present at the rally.

 

ARE LIVES AT RISK BECAUSE OF THIS DECISION? TELL US BELOW.

Topics:  emergency, health, hospital, protest, rally, residents



BEACH SAFETY: Can you reduce your risk of a shark attack?

Yesterday's attack reminded us that sharks are still out there, despite a quiet year so far. There are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of an unwanted encounter.

Some tips and helpful apps to help you be safe

Local Partners

PREVIEW: Luke Cage origin story is a strong addition to MCU

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage.

MIKE Colter stars as latest Marvel superhero to get his own series.

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

Encounters on stage at Lennox Head

COMING SOON: Dancers Elizabeth Venn and Tess Eckert are part of Encounters, the upcoming performance by SPRUNG!! Integrated Dance Theatre Inc.

By Sprung!! Dance Theatre Inc

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Buyers forking out millions

Owners benefiting from undersupplied Northern Rivers market

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

New $33 million development planned for Ballina Shire

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

Plans include 211 homes, clubhouse and recreational facilities

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction