Kurri Kurri district residents need assurances on Health Services
A group of community leaders met in Kurri Kurri week commencing 22 February and again in March to discuss concerns they have about the retention of hospital health services in their area.
Of immediate concern is the loss of ED (Emergency Department) services. Rumour and facts from December 2020 show that there was no ED open over the Christmas New Year period and that signs had been placed on the KK ED door directing any clients with health concerns to Maitland Hospital ED.
Rumour has it that the Kurri Kurri Hospital ED will be closed this year in June 2021.
Kurri Kurri has a very good operating theatre for Ophthalmic services and has been used for many years. In fact, Sydney Eye hospital have benchmarked Kurri Kurri with their services that they deliver, as it was believed that Kurri Kurri Ophthalmic services were superior.
Rumour has it that the Operating Theatre will close Christmas 2021 and be taken to the new Maitland Hospital.
The 26 bed Rehab Unit was destined to close at the end of 2020 but serious agitation by State Member Clayton Barr MP saw the Rehab Unit transferred to the Rankin Park Rehab Centre for administration as Maitland Drs refused to administer medical services remotely. Currently the Rehab Unit is about 50% full.
Rumour has it that this is a stop gap measure until the end of 2021 when the Rehab Unit will be transferred back to the new Maitland Hospital.
The Cardiac Rehab unit closed in Maitland and was transferred to Kurri Kurri in late 2020, with around 7 people using the unit now. Information received from a patient is that much of the exercise equipment is not in a satisfactory condition to be used and that the Rehab person is coming from another area of HNEH. (it is stated that only one walker and one exercise bike is in operation)
Rumour has it that it is also a stop gap measure until the new Maitland Hospital is commissioned.
Other rumours not confirmed include the loss of the Day Care Centre and Allied Health Services. Both of these services are rumoured to be closed Christmas 2021 and transferred to the new Maitland Hospital in February 2022.
Currently there is only one maybe two Doctors servicing the 24 bed Transition Ward. By all accounts there is no Medical Ward now at Kurri Kurri Hospital. Recently it was rumoured that the Maitland Hospital was at capacity and that patients were being transferred to Cessnock Hospital.
Kurri Kurri residents require assurances that the above services will remain in Kurri Kurri and that the hospital will continue to provide the current services which include X-Ray and Pathology.

It is our understanding that there is or will be an audit of all area hospitals this year to ascertain what services need to be where and improved.
The CEO of HNEH stated that there will be a business plan out sometime this year for hospital health services across the region.

Kurri Kurri Hospital
In 2018 there were 4 local Drs who contracted to the hospital.
The hospital in 2018 had 52 -bed sub-acute facility which included 26 acute and sub-acute medical beds; 28 rehabilitation beds and 16 day stay surgical places for eye; ear, nose and throat; and general day surgery procedures.
Services provided back in 2018 included
• Emergency medicine
• General medical-sub acute
• High volume, short stay surgery including eye surgery (adult), general surgery, and ear nose and throat surgery
• Rehabilitation unit
• Allied Health outpatient services
• Day Care Centre
• Emergency Department

Kurri Kurri residents require assurances that the Kurri Kurri Hospital is included in this review and business plan.
Finally, it is rumoured (missing) in the 2018 Service Delivery plan for the new Maitland Hospital that there will not be a CCU unit. It this is true it is totally unacceptable to have no CCU beds in the Maitland, Kurri Kurri, Cessnock areas and beyond.

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