I want to express my disappointment that the Yamba Community Health Centre has no doctor on the premises.
Yes, there were objections to a doctor or nurse practitioner being placed in this facility at any time by the three doctors that were practising in Yamba at the time the Health One submissions were made in 2007. Because of this we were put out of the running for a Health One facility.
However, we were given a “bonus” of $100,000 per year continual, to provide additional capacity to develop a more-integrated service model at Yamba, as the government and other bodies realised the need for a health centre with full medical services in Yamba.
When I finally had my dream realised of a health centre in Yamba I was on the planning committee where I insisted that we have a doctor available who would bulk bill.
Then I was informed that a doctor would not be available, as the land where the health centre sits was still owned by council. The land was eventually passed over to the state government to pave the way for a doctor.
The doctors who made those objections of course are concerned about losing custom, as they need the money to continue their business.
Let us not forget, the days of an altruistic doctor are long gone and in its place are those running a business.
I also may remind those patients who utilise those doctors who visits them while in Maclean Hospital. I can assure you that you will not see them there.
Some years ago, I was approached by a private landowner to assist him in passing through council a new surgery which is on Yamba Rd. After a few hiccups, the surgery is fully operational and it bulk bills for all clients, not just a select few.
There are two doctors who are from a Maclean surgery and live in Yamba. I feel confident in saying they would not mind working out of Yamba Health Centre for a day or two.
Jim Agnew OAM, Yamba