SHADOW Minister for Health and Deputy Opposition Leader Jillian Skinner said she will not close the Bellingen Hospital if the Coalition is in power after the next State election.
Her plan is to abolish Area Health Services and install District Health Boards and also to create stronger community involvement in local hospitals.
“I have no intentions of closing a single hospital in this State,” she said.
Mrs Skinner made the announcements yesterday while in Coffs Harbour to officially open Park Beach Plaza’s Family Medical Practice.
The new facility is the largest in the region with 18 consultation rooms, four dedicated skin clinic rooms for the treatment of skin cancers, two minor procedure rooms, a five-bed treatment room as well as three nurse assessment rooms.
The plan is to have allied health professionals including dieticians and physiotherapists who will support the general practitioners in ongoing chronic disease management.
Mrs Skinner said she is also looking for ways to attract more doctors to regional areas like the Coffs Coast.
“Internships is a major workforce policy issue that I am developing,” she said.
“We’re facing an absolute crisis in the next couple of years; one that I will inherit.”