Govt fails to deliver even a date for Coraki health service
BEYOND disappointment is how Gerard Criss feels and he says it is thanks to the State Government's lack of commitment in setting a date for the promised Health One service in Coraki.
The Coraki Medical Centre manager has watched "the fragmentation of health services" in his small town since the closure of the Campbell Hospital in September, 2011.
The Northern Star reported in March a steering committee had been established to develop plans for a Health One service, possibly on the Campbell Hospital campus.
"The Health One Centre on the former Campbell Hospital campus will provide a central hub for the local community to access integrated primary care services," said steering committee chair Hazel Bridgett.
Now in answer to a recent parliamentary question by Labor duty MLC for Lismore Mick Veitch, the Government has replied: "The timing for the service to be commissioned and operational is yet to be determined."
Mr Veitch said this was disappointing news for the residents of Coraki.
"This Government promised no frontline health services would be affected by its disgraceful $3 billion cut to health funding, but here is a very clear example of a service being affected," Mr Veitch said.
"It is also very concerning the Government's response revealed there is no certainty of what services will be offered at the local Health One."
"It's taking way, way, way too long," Mr Criss said.
He said people in Coraki can no longer access health services easily
"We have had cases where people have gone to hospital on Monday when they should have been seen on the Friday before.
"Transport is the major issue.
"I recently had to go to Lismore Base in an ambulance and pay $50 for a taxi to get home.
"I can afford that, but there is a vast majority of people in Coraki who can't pay that."
Mr Criss said he wants to move ahead positively for Coraki regarding health service needs.
"Watch this space," he said.
"There will be an announcement coming where we need to expand our services and fill the gap that has been left by the public health system."