Medical centre discussion heats up
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.