New $15m health centre a "shot in the arm" for Bonalbo
AFTER campaigning for improved health services since 1988, John Tart said yesterday's announcement that a $15 million Multi Purpose Service centre will be built at Bonalbo was just the "shot in the arm" the town needs.
The Save our Services Upper Clarence Health Committee spokesman was joined by Lismore MP Thomas George, and Northern NSW Local Health District Board chair, Dr Brian Pezzutti, for the announcement at Lismore Base Hospital.
"We're really hopeful this will give us a shot in the arm and boost business in Bonalbo," Mr Tart said.
"The upper Clarence Valley will be served by this hospital and there's something like 4200 people in that area...former GP Dr Tierney had over 3000 people on his books."
Since Dr Trevor Tierney retired in late 2011, Mr Tart said the town's butcher had closed and businesses were struggling.
"People would come to town to go to the doctor and the hospital and they would buy their meat in town and their groceries."
Things have begun to turn around for Bonalbo since Dr Sunil Sunil was appointed as GP in July, Mr Tart said.
Mr George said construction on the Bonalbo Multi Purpose Service MPS will begin in mid 2015, with plans hoped to be finalised by December this year.
"This is fantastic news for the local community which represents an enhancement of local health services," he said.
"It can provide emergency care, inpatient beds, palliative care, respite care, residential aged care for those with low level dementia, provision for visiting specialists and a range of primary, community and ambulatory care services appropriate for our community."
Preliminary funding was allocated for the project in the 2013/14 budget, Mr George said.