Media Releases

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December 04, 2018

NSW Labor has committed to launching a review of all paediatric services provided at Wollongong Hospital if it forms Government after the March election. 


Shadow Minister for Health, Walt Secord, and Wollongong MP Paul Scully made the announcement following the transfer of a three year old child from Wollongong to Sydney due to a suspected appendicitis earlier in the month.


Mr Scully expressed his shock that despite Wollongong being classified as a category A (Principal referral hospital) - paediatric surgical services are still referred to Sydney Hospitals.


Mr Secord said that Wollongong Hospital is one of the most over-stretched hospitals in the state and that the people of Wollongong have the right to expect paediatric surgical services can be completed in their own community.


The announced Independent review of paediatric resourcing at the Wollongong Hospital would commence within 100 days of Labor being elected after the March 2019 election.


The Independent review will examine:

  • The need for a dedicated paediatric surgeon;
  • Resourcing of paediatric services;
  • Adequacy of post-op treatment for paediatric surgery patients;
  • The current levels of paediatric training of support staff such as anesthetists and nurses;
  • Current referral pathways for paediatric surgeries; and
  • Appropriateness of surgical suites for paediatric surgery.


Mr Scully also urged the Berejiklian Government to take action before the March election so that paediatric surgical services can be restored to the Illawarra.


Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Health Walt Secord


“The Wollongong Hospital services hundreds of thousands of patients – and basic paediatric surgical services should be performed locally.”


“This review will get to the bottom of why children are being sent to Sydney for surgeries which should be done closer to home.”


Quotes attributable to Member for Wollongong Paul Scully


“It is really hard on families to force them to travel to Sydney when we are supposed to have a world class hospital here in Wollongong.”


The Berejiklian Government is prioritising Sydney stadiums ahead of Wollongong Hospital.”