FIGHTING FOR YEARS: A Coraki hospital protest in 2006.
FIGHTING FOR YEARS: A Coraki hospital protest in 2006.

Coraki health service downgraded

THE Northern Rivers' health service has taken another step away from the reopening of the Coraki hospital, announcing it cannot justify continuing even the reduced facility now in place at the town.

In a statement just released by the Northern NSW Local Health District, chief executive Chris Crawford said the Coraki "Urgent Care Centre" would be wound back to a "Community Care Centre" from Monday next week (March 25).

The Community Care Centre would be in the same place and keep the same hours as the Urgent Care Centre, but would not be staffed by a doctor and would be focused on providing "chronic and community services to patients".

In the statement, Mr Crawford says the Urgent Care Centre was seeing too few patients (one person every 45 minutes during a six-month trial) and that most of those patients could have been treated just as easily and much more cheaply by a general practitioner.

"The Board concluded that the UCC is mainly duplicating services already provided by local general practitioners and these new arrangements will be discussed with them," Mr Crawford says in the statement.

"The cost of providing the primary care services through the UCC model was found to be much more expensive than providing such services through the GP practice model.

Mr Crawford said Coraki's new Community Care Centre would be evaluated during June and a report would be given to the board during that month's board meeting.



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