Long Jetty Hospital will be temporarily repurposed as a COVID-19 response unit from mid-October to support the potential increase in patients with the virus requiring hospital care.
Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) said the Long Jetty Sub-acute and Transitional Care Unit would be set up for COVID care.
Patients already at Long Jetty Hospital would be transferred to another healthcare facility, including Wyong Hospital or Woy Woy Transitional Care Unit.
CCLHD said all other community health services based at Long Jetty Healthcare Centre, such as the renal dialysis unit, child and family health, mental health and palliative care services would continue to operate without change.
Federal Member for Dobell, Emma McBride said the move puts the future of Long Jetty Hospital in doubt.
“I’ve been contacted by concerned staff members overnight who are very worried about the future of the hospital,” McBride said.
“They’re concerned that the hospital won’t reopen once it’s been repurposed as a COVID-19 response unit and will instead be shut down permanently.
“This is an important healthcare service in our community, and we deserve an explanation.”
CCLHD has confirmed this is a temporary measure and The Entrance MP, David Mehan, has sought a guarantee from Central Coast Health that they will not close Long Jetty Hospital after they finish using it as a COVID unit.
“We need to know how this plan will affect existing staff and patients now, and into the future,” he said.
CCLHD said all patients and staff from the 22-bed Sub-acute and Transitional Care Unit were being supported through the changes and kept directly informed.
“Staff are being consulted about redeployment to an appropriate service, such as Wyong Hospital or Woy Woy Transitional Care Unit, to support the increase in patients moving there.
“Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our patients, staff and community during these challenging times remains our top priority,” a CCLHD spokesperson said.