Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Uralla Shire Mayor Mick Pearce outside the existing Uralla Health Clinic.
Tuesday, 30 July 2019
MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has vowed Uralla will not lose its Community Health Service as the search continues for a new home for the facility in the township.
Last month Mr Marshall forced Hunter New England Health (HNEH) to back down on its decision to close the clinic from 1 July, due to concerns it had over the health risks posed by exposed asbestos at its current location, a leased building on Wood Street.
Mr Marshall said since the middle of June several potential locations have been explored, but as yet none have ticked all the boxes.
“The health district’s efforts to close and relocate this important service were incredibly cloak and dagger, I think it’s important the community is kept in the loop every step of the way,” Mr Marshall said.
“To date I have been working with Uralla’s real-estate agents to find a new location. Suggestions have been put to HNEH, however none have been found suitable to provide a health service from.
“HNEH is also in weekly contact with Uralla Shire Council and the town’s real estate agents so I am confident in time we will be able to work out a long term solution to this issue.”
Mr Marshall said HNEH is also in discussions with the owner of the current property to undertake removal of the asbestos.
“Addressing asbestos issues in old buildings can be costly but I am hopeful HNEH may be able to come to an agreement with the current building’s owner which will allow the issue to be addressed and the service to continue operating from the premises,” he said.
“I want to reiterate how important it is for Uralla residents, in particularly new mothers and the elderly, to have access to health services like pre-natal care and chronic disease management in their own home town without having to travel to Armidale.
“News of the potential closure has caused great concern within the community, I want residents to know I am doing everything in my power to keep the Community Health Service staffed and operating.”