The 2015 report about Pambula Hospital future made it clear that the community preferred to see a doctor when visiting Pambula Hospital for urgent assessment and treatment.
A nurse-led service was the least preferred model but that was what we got.
We tried it and it didn’t work. People were sent away having received no medical treatment or help.
It’s still a nurse-led model but there appears to be a will to see change so that patients are actually treated, referred to their own doctor or referred to SERH.
The community may not be the only ones to benefit from an improved ATC at Pambula. There’s little doubt a patient will be seen faster at Pambula than at SERH.
Recent figures from SERH show that 5 per cent of waiting patients lose patience and walk away from the emergency department. This is almost twice the NSW average.
Taking some of the load away from SERH’s emergency department could well suit the Local Health District.
Of course if in any doubt about the severity of the medical emergency call an ambulance on triple 000.
Save Our Hospital Inc (SOHI) president Sharon Tapscott has welcomed the changes.
“We are moving at a glacial pace, but we are moving,” Ms Tapscott said.
What is important now is that everyone gives the ATC a second go.
“I urge everyone to use the Pambula Hospital service for minor ailments or referral onto SERH,” Ms Tapscott said.
Pambula Hospital is a vital asset for the community and also for the many visitors to the southern part of the shire who may need medical help during their holidays.
It is critical that as a community we have a say about what is important to us in terms of our medical facilities. That means ensuring we give feedback. If anyone experiences service at Pambula Hospital or the SERH that is below expectation they should fill in an official complaint form at the hospital.
If there are no written complaints don’t expect a bureaucracy to think any improvements are needed. But equally if they do a good job let’s tell them but most of all let’s be engaged because this is about our health and our health service. In the wings waits another $5 million which has been earmarked for Pambula Hospital’s refurbishment and we need to ensure that it is used where it’s needed.