Now we just need a doc­tor

Con­struc­tion starts on Ulong and Eastern Dor­rigo clin­i­cal space

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - NEWS - wendy.andrews@coff­s­coas­tad­vo­ WENDY ANDREWS

IT’S the talk of the town and de­servedly so.

After a lot of ad­vo­cat­ing and hard work, build­ing has be­gun on the Ulong and Eastern Dor­rigo Clin­i­cal space.

Val­ley lo­cal and busi­ness­woman Carol Cleary has been the driv­ing force be­hind this project for the com­mu­nity.

“We started the build of the Ulong and Eastern Dor­rigo Clin­i­cal space last Mon­day at the Ulong hall, through fund­ing pro­vided by North Coast Pri­mary Health Net­work as well as do­na­tions from the Eastern Dor­rigo Com­mu­nity Group and coun­cil,” Carol said.

“It’s so ex­cit­ing. We are a step closer to hav­ing our goal re­alised.

“We cur­rently have a reg­u­lar visit from Coffs Har­bour Tafe nurses on the first Tues­day of ev­ery month and we’re hop­ing once the clinic has been es­tab­lished it will prove to other med­i­cal pro­fes­sions – doc­tors, women’s and men’s health and men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als as well as aux­il­iary ser­vices – to join the nurses on a monthly ba­sis and utilise the pri­vacy of the clin­i­cal space to bring a greater ser­vice to the res­i­dents of the Eastern Dor­rigo.

“Lisa and her team of Tafe nurses are fan­tas­tic. She is a reg­is­tered nurse and brings trainee nurses with her – it’s a win-win for ev­ery­one.

“The com­mu­nity is so ap­pre­cia­tive of their sup­port and it pro­vides a per­fect train­ing ground.

“In the short time the nurses have been vis­it­ing they have al­ready flagged some med­i­cal is­sues with lo­cals who have gone on to see a GP and pos­si­bly cir­cum­vented ma­jor is­sues hap­pen­ing. All we need now is a doc­tor in the val­ley.”

Carol and the com­mu­nity are hop­ing a Coffs Coast doc­tor will see the ben­e­fits of vis­it­ing the val­ley, even if it’s just once a month.

“The hall com­mit­tee is in the process of pur­chas­ing all the fur­ni­ture, so now that we have a clin­i­cal space for pri­vate and con­fi­den­tial con­sul­ta­tions all we need is a GP,” she said.

“If there’s a GP com­ing from a Coffs Coast prac­tice they could use this an an out­reach clinic.

“From a busi­ness per­spec­tive, this model is ideal. There are no over­heads, no out­go­ings for rent, util­i­ties or up­keep and they can work along­side Lisa and the Tafe nurses, who could pro­vide triage and then the GP could re­fer pa­tients to their main clinic in town for fol­lowups.

“Ulong is an hour’s drive from both Dor­rigo and Coffs Har­bour hospi­tals but for some lo­cals, es­pe­cially those who don’t drive, it can be dif­fi­cult to get there.”

Carol is keen to talk with a GP or any med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als in­ter­ested in be­ing part of the clinic on 6654 5320.

IN­CRED­I­BLE SUP­PORT: Builder Greg Firsk was “down the hill” work­ing on the school when Carol Cleary told him she needed a car­pen­ter. Next day he was on the tools at the clinic space.

Photos: Con­trib­uted

Nurse Lisa and the TAFE trainees visit the Val­ley once a month.

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