Gunnedah Rural Health Centre closes with no GPs

HEALTH SCARE: The Gunnedah Rural Health Centre closed its doors on Wednesday, but the voluntary administrator is hopeful it's a short-term closure. Photo: Ella Smith

HEALTH SCARE: The Gunnedah Rural Health Centre closed its doors on Wednesday, but the voluntary administrator is hopeful it's a short-term closure. Photo: Ella Smith

GUNNEDAH Rural Health Clinic has closed its doors with its only remaining doctor leaving unexpectedly on Wednesday – but the administrator is hopeful it will re-open.

Hayes Advisory was appointed voluntary administrator last Friday, and plans were put in place on that day to have a doctor onsite for several weeks, starting Monday of this week. 

The doctor arrived and left when his demands for payment of amounts owing as at July 7 of this year could not be met, according to the administrator.

"Unfortunately, he left late this morning," administrator Alan Hayes said on Wednesday afternoon.

"There are no doctors for general practice.

"Plans are in place to resurrect the business and we're trying to keep the place open in the long-term.

"We've closed the centre for GP consults. 

“Hopefully that's a short-term closure. 

"Patient files are secure and we've made arrangements for doctor and pathology reports to be dealt with.”

Gunnedah Rural Health Centre on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Ella Smith

Gunnedah Rural Health Centre on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Ella Smith

Mr Hayes reassured the community he was committed to working towards re-opening the centre.

"I've been approached by a number of parties who have expressed interest in taking over the centre,” he said.

"I'm pleased with the level of interest. I'm going to advertise it and will field inquiries and interest.

"I can't guarantee it will re-open, but I can guarantee we will do our best to get it re-opened.

“I'd really like to thank the staff at the centre who are committed to getting it re-opened."

Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson will fight for the centre, despite it not being a state issue.

Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson will fight for the centre, despite it not being a state issue.

TAMWORTH MP KEVIN ANDERSON RESPONDS

Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson has vowed to work closely alongside the administrator to help re-open the centre.

“This is a privately-run facility by a board of directors,” Mr Anderson said on Wednesday afternoon.

“It concerns me greatly the facility has closed.

“I’ve had discussions with the administrator and offered my support and any services we have at our disposal to finding a way forward.”

The $6.2 million centre, which was built as a community asset, and received funding from the state and federal governments and mining companies, opened in 2012.

“It’s a beautiful purpose-built medical facility,” Mr Anderson said.

“I would like to see it continue as that.

“I want to help make sure the facility stays delivering health services in some way, shape or form.

“I continue to work closely with the administrator.”

WEB WORDS: COMMUNITY RESPONDS TO CENTRE APPOINTING ADMINISTRATOR

  • What a great shame to the Gunnedah community. As I understand the centre was a not for profit organisation with the Doctors working to give back to the community instead of lining their own pockets.

Carla Simpson 

  • Another white elephant,after all the money the mine put in.

Wendy Duff 

  • If it closes I will feel sorry for the reception staff etc as they were lovely people but I'd rather see a doctor who knows the area and who I know I'll be able to see again.

Nem Moran 

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