The State Government has been asked to provide urgent assistance for the Mallacoota Medical Centre to prevent a possible imminent closure.
Speaking in State Parliament last night, Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, called on the Minister for Health to offer support to the Centre, so it can keep the doors open during the upcoming holiday period and beyond.
Mr Bull was contacted by concerned Mallacoota residents last week, who advised of the situation facing the community, following the departures of two general practitioners (GP’s).
“As a result of these departures, the Medical Centre has become unviable from a financial perspective,” he said.
“This would result in over 5000 (during holiday periods) people being left without a health service for between 4-6 weeks with the nearest medical assistance being in Bega in NSW, and Orbost,” Mr Bull told Parliament.
“Last week the remaining doctor and community members met in Canberra with Assistant Minister for Rural Health, Dr David Gillespie and Gippsland Federal Member, Darren Chester.”
Mr Bull told the Minister the first priority was for emergency funding to keep the practice open and it was estimated around $13,000 per month was required to meet the operational shortfall while only one doctor remained, but the recruitment of a further doctor or doctors would improve viability.
“I understand the practice is a private operation, but the remoteness of Mallacoota and the fact it attracts large tourist numbers, presents unique circumstances
“Minister, I seek your urgent assistance in ensuring the Mallacoota Medical Centre remains open to support the local community, at least in the short term until a longer term option can be considered.
“The Minister now has one month to respond and I look forward to working with the Government to try and achieve a solution to this unfortunate situation,” Mr Bull said.
Wednesday, October 25, 2016