Gunnedah's rural health centre may be leased and run by another organisation in the near future if it coincides with the community's wishes.
Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre has confirmed it has expressed an interest in running the clinic, and is currently entering "preliminary conversations with some of the relevant stakeholders".
Winanga-Li engagement and development manager Kate McGrath said the organisation was interested in leasing the clinic building "to enable us to bring in primary and allied health professionals for the families we support and the wider community".
"If successful, we will directly engage clinicians and also invite existing providers in Gunnedah to co-locate or make use of the space as needed," Mrs McGrath said.
Mrs McGrath said the organisation currently transported families to access clinicians in Armidale, Newcastle and Sydney, but said "resources can be better utilised by bringing the services to Gunnedah".
"Expecting people who are experiencing poor health or financial strain to travel these distances to see primary and allied health professionals is unrealistic and unfair," she said.
It comes after the clinic closed in October 2019 as Mackellar Care Services struggled to retain permanent GPs.
Other doctors in town have had a hard time since the closure, trying to juggle both existing and new patients who have moved over from the Mackellar-run clinic.
Winanga-Li chief executive officer Wayne Griffiths said the organisation wanted to "bring this centre to life", but wanted to ensure the community had a say in the matter.
"We have a vision for real partnerships, to support health beyond a doctors appointment and make sure the whole community can access what they need," Mr Griffiths said.
"The traditional approach doesn't work for everyone, and we believe our community needs to have a say in what services are available in Gunnedah.
"Never under-estimate the power of community, if we work together we can change the shape of health care and ensure essential health care needs are met for everyone."
Mrs McGrath said locals are invited to share their insights, "including barriers to maintaining wellbeing or accessing health care", before the organisation proceeded further in negotiations.
"We also invite local services who are interested in delivering an innovative, collaborative approach to healthcare to get in touch," she said.
"The rural health centre building is a community asset, and a dedication to meeting community need must be the guiding principle in determining the future of the building."
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