More than two years after the Campbell Hospital closed its doors following a storm in which part of its roof blew off, the community is still waiting for a satisfactory primary health care facility.
Last month it was announced the town’s Urgent Care Centre (UCC) is to be further downgraded to a Community Care Centre (CCC) operating just four hours a day, four days a week.
Now the health minister Jillian Skinner has told parliament the timing for the establishment of a HealthOne service to be developed at the old hospital site is ‘yet to be determined’.
Answering a question from shadow minister for rural and regional affairs, Mick Veitch, last week, Ms Skinner said, ‘I am advised the Northern NSW Local Health District has commenced developing a Master Plan for the former Coraki Hospital site’.
‘The timing for the service to be commissioned and operational is yet to be determined. The range of services will be determined in the detailed planning stage for the HealthOne integrated primary health care service. However, the service will be developed so that a general practice is co-located with the community health services, as part of the HealthOne service,’ she said.
Mr Veitch, who is also Labor duty MLC for Lismore, said, ‘the people of Coraki have been waiting for more than two years… for some certainty about their local health services and this response from the O’Farrell government means it looks like they will now be waiting even longer’.
‘It is also very concerning the government’s response revealed there is no certainty of what services will be offered at the local HealthOne,’ he added.
‘It is completely unacceptable that the Coraki community has been left in the dark for so long.
‘The local community should be provided with a clear timetable of when the facility will be opened and what services will be offered.’