THE MULLUMBIMBY Hospital Auxiliary is concerned services are being eroded from the facility following revelations in The Northern Star yesterday that its emergency department doctor may be replaced by a video-medicine system after 10pm.
Auxiliary president Elaine Rob- inson said the news was still sinking in and they would monitor developments closely before deciding what action they would take.
She tipped at the very least a letter of protest would be sent to the Northern NSW Local Health District. Mrs Robinson said auxiliary members had originally been excited to hear about the introduction of the telemedicine system but were now having second thoughts if it would result in staff cuts.
"I am a bit anxious about what it's all going to mean for our hospital," Mrs Robinson said. "We've had our services cut a lot already.
"When you see what's happening to Bonalbo and Coraki we have to feel a bit anxious.
"Millions are being spent in Lismore at the moment.
"They seem to get everything they need. We just feel very much like the poor relatives.
"We want more information before we decide what our next action will be."
The issue is tipped to dominate conversation at the auxiliary's next monthly meeting on June 4.
Under the proposal being considered by the local health district, doctors at Tweed Hospital would assess patients at Mullumbimby Hospital's emergency department via a telemedicine video-confer- encing system called The Connecting Critical Care System.
The night medical officer at Byron Hospital would also support Mullumbimby's emergency department.
Ballina State MP Don Page has called for any savings generated by scrapping the late night emergency department doctor to be injected back into the hospital.
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