RAIN LEAKS INTO WARDS
Operation Carried Out In Deluge
URGENT CASES TURNED AWAY
THE Bulli Public Hospital has been flooded by rain water since Sunday night. Yesterday a man was operated on urgently while rain poured through the roof of the operating theatre.
“It poured on to the doctors, nurses and patient,” said Matron Ellis last night. “It flooded the anaesthetic table and the chloroform bottle.
“In desperation, the nurses donned macintoshes and tried to dry the bottles and instruments.
Operated In Bedlam
“But they could not cope with the water.
“When the operation was completed the man was put into a ward into which rain poured all night.
“I do not know how the doctor operated in the bedlam.”
Today four patients for whom doctors sought admission had to be turned away.
May Endanger Lives
“Three of them should have been operated upon immediately, and their lives may be endangered through the delay,” said Matron Ellis.
“The flooding is a public scandal.
“The Government promised to improve the hospital three years ago, but it has done nothing.
“At 1am this morning we had to drag two patients out of bed in the same ward, because there was a deluge of water falling on them.
“The man who had been operated upon, and the other sick men in the ward, were kept awake all night by the commotion and confusion.
Nurses Were Drenched
“Today the man who was operated upon is very ill indeed.
“As the water fell into the ward it ran in a stream two inches deep out into the passage.
“Nurses were drenched as they tried to keep pace with it.
“The drugs cupboard was soaked, and so was the linen press.
“In the hall we emptied one huge tub three times in an hour.
“We Are Desperate”
“Patients were complaining bitterly, and deservedly.
“It was a disgrace to a civilised community.
“We are quite desperate. We almost feel our work is in vain.”
Mr. G. A. Clegg, one of the patients, said: “Pigs have more comfortable quarters than we have had in the last three days.
“It’s not so bad for me. But the chap in the next bed has had a terrible time on the operating table, and he could not sleep.
“The nurses worked wonderfully.”
9 Beds For Men
The secretary of the hospital (Mr. C. Lacey) said that there were only nine beds for men in the hospital.
“Six other beds have to be improvised always on the verandah,” he said.
“The verandah is covered only by fibro-cement.
“Rain poured on to the verandah last night, also.
“The hospital has nearly 3,000 sub-scribers, and they are not getting the service they pay for.
“The nine beds are supposed to cater for workers in three mines, workers in the railway, and brick yards, 600 men in the steel works, and every other worker between Austinmer and Corrimal.”
One of the hospital doctors, in an interview at his Bulli home, said:— “To my knowledge there are 15 people in Bulli who should be in hospital, but there is no accommodation.
“One woman will probably die before she gets the necessary attention.
“The Government has neglected the hospital because Bulli is not a U.A.P, stronghold.
“At Young, where there is a population half the size of that which the Bulli hospital is supposed to serve, thousands of pounds have been spent.
“The Bulli hospital is shockingly in adequate.”
– Daily Telegraph Friday 26 August 1938