Hunter New England Health meets with preferred party to operate from Gunnedah Rural Health Centre

HUNTER New England Health has met with the preferred party put forward to operate out of the Gunnedah Rural Health Centre.

It comes after liquidator Alan Hayes revealed he had found a “medically and financially capable” party to purchase the right to run a medical and allied health practice from the building.

The Gunnedah Rural Health Centre board appointed Mr Hayes voluntary administrator on July 7

Mr Hayes last week submitted a proposal to the state and federal governments that, if accepted, would see all creditors be paid out.

Susan Heyman, Executive Director Rural and Regional Health Services, confirmed in a statement to the NVI that they had met with the preferred party.

“The Gunnedah Rural Health Centre is located on the Gunnedah Hospital campus,” she said.

“Hunter New England Health and the NSW Government has owned the land for a very long time.

“Because we own the land, we have a role to play in determining who takes over the lease. We have met with the preferred candidate and are currently conducting due diligence of the provider and agreement. We are working through this as quickly as we can.”

Gunnedah Hospital has historically worked closely with the GP clinic.

“We rely on GPs in the community to provide care to those people who do not require urgent acute care via the hospital’s Emergency Department,” Ms Heyman said.

“This ensures that patients who need emergency care can access it as quickly as possible, and other, less urgent patients are not required to wait for medical attention.”

Federal member for Parkes Mark Coulton hoped the decision “wouldn’t take long”.

“I’d like to see it reach its potential of what it was originally designed for and that’s a GP clinic with access to allied health services,” Mr Coulton said.

“Obviously there’s some due diligence that must be done as to the suitability of the party and to make sure they have the ability to provide a service that is viable so this doesn’t happen again.”

Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson hoped the clinic could return to its original vision. “It is important that the facility continues to attract new health care professionals to Gunnedah, which is what it was originally intended for,” he said.

The clinic was built in 2012 under funding from the state and federal governments and mining companies.