Deni doc­tor short­age could mar growth, de­vel­op­ment

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS -

De­niliquin and district in in the midst of a resur­gence.

We will soon start see­ing the fruits of record in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment in our com­mu­ni­ties.

We’ll see $20 mil­lion spent across both Ed­ward River Council and Mur­ray River Council as a re­sult of the lo­cal govern­ment Stronger Com­mu­ni­ties fund­ing stream.

Another $1.5 mil­lion has been awarded to the Ed­ward River Council from the NSW Govern­ment Stronger Coun­try Com­mu­ni­ties Fund and $3 mil­lion to five projects un­der the Mur­ray Dar­ling Basin Re­gional Eco­nomic Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion Pro­gramme.

One of the key projects that will come out of this com­bined fund­ing wind­fall is ex­pected to be the long awaited re­tire­ment vil­lage com­plex for the district, to be built on rail­way land in the cen­tre of De­niliquin.

It has been ru­moured, planned and wished upon for many years, and fi­nally it is near­ing re­al­ity.

We have a lot to be ex­cited about mov­ing for­ward, but one thing threat­ens to un­der­mine all this pos­i­tiv­ity, and par­tic­u­larly the re­tire­ment vil­lage pro­posal . . . ac­cess to ba­sic med­i­cal ser­vices.

While we re­joice about a boost to our econ­omy, De­niliquin has been cry­ing out for help to end a lo­cal doc­tor short­age since at least Jan­uary.

So far, the au­thor­i­ties with the power to make a dif­fer­ence seem un­will­ing to budge.

De­spite lo­cal doc­tors be­ing un­able to phys­i­cally see any more pa­tients — clos­ing their books and en­cour­ag­ing pa­tients to seek treat­ment at Echuca or other nearby towns — this district is not of­fi­cially reg­is­tered as hav­ing a District of Work­force Short­age.

Af­ter nine months lob­by­ing be­hind the scenes, lo­cal health pro­fes­sion­als have re­sorted to pe­ti­tion­ing the Fed­eral Govern­ment to in­ter­vene.

They are urg­ing the Fed­eral Govern­ment to ease the bur­den on our com­mu­nity and our doc­tors by re­vis­ing the De­niliquin District of Work­force Short­age clas­si­fi­ca­tion ear­lier than the sched­uled date — at least six months from now.

We are des­per­ate. Our health de­pends on it. Our econ­omy de­pends on it.

Yes, Ed­ward River Council has ob­tained fund­ing for the re­tire­ment vil­lage pro­posal and se­cured 2.2ha of land on which to build it.

But get­ting the project off the ground de­pends on a will­ing de­vel­oper, a sound busi­ness plan and the peo­ple to live in it.

Who would choose to in­vest or re­tire in De­niliquin if there is no ac­cess to doc­tors?

We have seen time and again that the voice of many can have an im­pact on how pol­i­tics and govern­ment bu­reau­cracy is shaped.

Let’s all add our voice to the pe­ti­tion in­sti­gated by De­niliquin doc­tor Ian Dum­brell, and de­mand the Fed­eral Govern­ment helps us to main­tain a healthy com­mu­nity and ba­sic ser­vices right here at home.

It can be signed at De­niliquin busi­nesses Eric Sim Pharmacy and Soul Pat­tin­son Pharmacy, or at Dr Dum­brell’s De­niliquin Cen­tral Clinic.

Let’s speak up for our ba­sic rights.

And if the Fed­eral Govern­ment still does not see us as be­ing el­i­gi­ble for a District of Work­force Short­age clas­si­fi­ca­tion, per­haps it’s time to change the cri­te­ria.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.