$7m pledge for super clinic

A RE-ELECTED Labor Government will spend $7 million building a GP Super Clinic at Lismore, Page MPJanelle Saffin and ParliamentarySecretary for Health Mark Butler announced yesterday.

In the region's first major funding announcement for the election campaign, Ms Saffin and Mr Butler said the clinic was aimed at easing pressure on Lismore Base Hospital and improving access to healthcare for local families.

Details on when the clinic would be built, and precisely what it would involve, were still to be finalised.However, Ms Saffin said she wassupporting a plan by the Northern Rivers General Practice Network to develop a clinic at the defunctLismore Private Hospital.

“I have been working with local doctors and with the local Northern Rivers General Practice Network on how we could have a GP super clinic here,” Ms Saffin said.

GP Network chairman Tony Lembke and chief executive Chris Clark said the network wanted to develop a facility that served the entire Northern Rivers.

Mr Butler said the clinics were aimed at ‘expandingaccess' to bulk billing forresidents.

“Lismore has a significantly lower rate of bulk billing than the NSW average,” he said.

The super clinic is the third announced for the region and comes on the eve of construction of the Grafton super clinic, which was promised during the 2007 election, and after the announcement of another super clinic for Tweed Heads.

Mr Butler said the clinic would build on the FederalGovernment's other investments in health on the Northern Rivers, including the new cancer unit and planned PET scanner and radiotherapy device, as well as investments in training at the Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health.



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