Med­i­cal cen­tre dis­cus­sion heats up

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Is­abell Petrinic

EMO­TIONS are run­ning high in the Mt Druitt Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity over a plan that al­lows a non-in­dige­nous group to run their med­i­cal cen­tre.

“It should be the Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple putting this or­gan­i­sa­tion back in place,” Abo­rig­i­nal builder and busi­ness­man Doug De­laney said at a fo­rum last week.

He was among about 50 peo­ple to dis­cuss the fu­ture of Abo­rig­i­nal Med­i­cal Ser­vice Western Syd­ney – the only Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity-con­trolled health ser­vice in the area – which was wound down by cred­i­tors in Au­gust af­ter 29 years.

The Stan­dard un­der­stands In­dige­nous Busi­ness Aus­tralia’s In­dige­nous Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Trust pur­chased the for­mer provider’s med­i­cal cen­tre build­ing in Palmer­ston Rd, Mt Druitt, for $3.65 mil­lion.

Wen­tWest is re­spon­si­ble for the day-to-day op­er­a­tion of the new Syd­ney West Abo­rig­i­nal Health Ser­vice.

Paul McCor­mack, from the Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Health’s grant ser­vices divi­sion, said Wen­tWest can only pro­vide ser­vices un­til De­cem­ber 31.

He ex­pects a new provider to be cho­sen in the open mar­ket by Au­gust or Septem­ber, with a tran­si­tion of ser­vice de­liv­ery about Oc­to­ber.

Mr McCor­mack said the new provider would “stand alone” in Jan­uary 2017, at sites in Mt Druitt and Pen­rith.

He said, if vi­able, a con­sul­ta­tion with lo­cal el­ders would be ar­ranged.

A spokesman for the rep­re­sen­ta­tive liq­uida­tor Jones Part­ners said the pre­vi­ous provider had been los­ing as much as $250,000 a month.

He said its 70 em­ploy­ees had been paid out since they be­came in­volved in July.

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