CAMPAIGNER: Dr Liz Elliott speaks in 2012 at a rally to protest the closures and reduction of services at local hospitals.
CAMPAIGNER: Dr Liz Elliott speaks in 2012 at a rally to protest the closures and reduction of services at local hospitals. Cathy Adams

Parting shot of retiring Mullumbimby doctor

COINCIDING with the closure of Mullumbimby Hospital comes the retirement of well known Mullumbimby doctor Liz Elliott.

Well known for campaigning to keep Mullum Hospital's casualty open and staffed three years ago, Dr Elliott transferred to Mullumbimby General Practice and Hospital 11 years ago. She believes it is time for her to move on.

"I have loved this hospital; the kind nurses, the pace, the variety and the locals; slim, self-caring, supporting their elderly well, pretty content and pretty sane," she said.

"I have decided not to go to the new hospital because the sort of medicine older doctors enjoyed; compassionate, autonomous intuitive with varied modalities may not be so valued in a bigger institution.

"I am sorry to see this amazing construction, the Central Byron Hospital, jammed up against a busy road, and skimping on gardens, views and nice waiting rooms.

"It's another example of centralisation, efficient perhaps, but lacking in local understanding."

Dr Elliott has had a long and varied career. After studying medicine at Melbourne, she has worked as a journalist, started yoga centres in Washington DC and New York, painted and cartooned for a living before returning to medicine.

She even wrote a best-selling health book, Energy, with its central message of exhale longer than you inhale.

"I am a keen permaculture gardener now with 200 glorious acres near Mullum to care for and luckily, most of my adult family and grandchildren live in Byron Shire," she said.

Retirement will allow Dr Elliot to pursue interests in economics and politics.

"But I am hoping to carry on as activist, artist and yoga student for some more years in Mullumbimby where there is so much natural beauty and space."



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