Grim protest about no doctor at the Coraki Campbell HealthOne facility in Coraki.
Grim protest about no doctor at the Coraki Campbell HealthOne facility in Coraki. Susanna Freymark

If you cut your toe, don't go to this hospital

RAY HUNT is more frustrated than most about living in a town where the hospital has no doctor.

"If you cut your toe, you can't go there," Mr Hunt said.

His late wife Anne used to be the 'boss' of the original Coraki Campbell Hospital before it was closed down.

The two year old, $4 million CorakiCampbell HealthOne facility looks modern and slick and offers dentistry and dietary appointments but services are limited without a doctor.

Down the road on Thursday, July 18, about 10 people gathered to voice their frustration about no sign of a doctor for Coraki.

Eighty-five year old Tubby Daley was there. He was born in Coraki. He doesn't drive so when he needs to see the doctor he has to use limited public transport to get to Casino or Lismore.

Peggy Gooley takes her sick husband regularly to Casino Hospital.

Ms Gooley failed to understand why they couldn't have a doctor on rotation, even if the doctor was only in Coraki for two days a week.

A list of 241 names of residents who would use a GP show the solid customer base in Coraki.

Jennifer Sherwin wore a grim reaper outfit to emphasise how Coraki residents feel about the absence of a doctor.

Ms Sherwin believes the contracts the Northern NSW Local Health District are offering are too restrictive.

The town's pharmacy continues to be under pressure to deal with medical issues that the HeallthOne refuses to do.

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones said efforts had been made to recruit a General Practitioner for Coraki Campbell HealthOne, however there had been no successful applicants.

"While running the HealthOne in Coraki is the responsibility of the Local Health District, the provision of General Practice is through the North Coast Primary Health Network," Mr Jones said.

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said he shared the community's concerns about the absence of a GP at the Coraki HealthOne facility.

"It's very disappointing because Coraki is a great little community and there is a ready patient base both there and at Woodburn." Mr Gulaptis said.

"I am aware the Northern NSW Local Health District has explored a number of avenues to secure a doctor for Coraki but it has proved difficult.

"I am advised they have exhausted all their options and have now sought assistance and support from the Northern Coast Primary Health Network who manage primary care services."

Meanwhile, Mr Daley has to find a way to get to the doctor. He would simply like to drive his motor scooter to the HealthOne and receive the medical attention he needs, in his hometown.

 

Linda couldn't be at the protest, she had a doctor's appointment.
Linda couldn't be at the protest, she had a doctor's appointment. Susanna Freymark


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