Almost open ‘hospital’
Years of lobbying pay off
AT THE public open day, Kyogle mayor Danielle Mulholland raised an important issue at the new Bonalbo Multi Purpose Service.
“What is the operating budget?” Cr Mulholland said. “How will they fund it?”
Her questions were directed at the State Government.
No longer called a hospital, but a Multi Purpose Service, the Bonalbo facility was larger than HealthOne at Coraki.
Kyogle Council, former MPs, including Janelle Saffin, and the community group Save Our Service lobbied hard for six years to make sure Bonalbo retained a hospital.
“We will run a GP clinic for non urgent cases,” nurse manager Cheryl Ducat said.
For 30 years she has cared for the Bonalbo community and this week will move into the new facility.
Aged Care facility Caroona also moves into the new building where a “home-like” environment has been created Ms Ducat said.
“We will be able to do life saving procedures when a doctor is not available,” she said. “Specialist nurses will have a video link to a doctor at Lismore Base Hospital,” she said.
They can cover most medical needs except delivery of babies, she said.
“We service the rural hinterland of more than 4000 people,” Ms Ducat said.
The current casual doctor, Dr Sunil was leaving and a more permanent doctor – or two was sought.
Only stage one of the facility is complete, the next stage includes an ambulance bay and morgue.
“We won’t be officially open until there is an overnight patient and a doctor here,” SOS member Lance Kirkley said.
SOS members Jeanette Flanagan and Jenny Clarke said they won’t celebrate until then
“This is for our kids and grandkids,” Ms Clarke said.
OPEN DAY: At the new Bonalbo Multi Purpose Service with politicians, staff and members of the committee Save Our Service who fought to have a hospital in Bonalbo.