Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rally to protest the closure of the Wanniassa Medical Centre

Around 300 people participated in this morning's rally to protest against the closure of the Wanniassa Medical Centre. The rally was organised by Annette Ellis MP. Ms Ellis addressed the crowd outlining the concerns she had heard from the local community.

Russell McGowan addressed the crowd and highlighted the concern of the HCCA that this decision was made based on what was best for the shareholders of Primary Healthcare rather than the best interests of the local community and the consumers who attended the surgery.

I took the opportunity to mix with people this morning and had a number of conversations. The themes were very clear
  • profit comes before the welfare of the patient
  • parking at the Phillip Clinic is poor and access for elderly is difficult, the access via bus was mentioned many times and is a source of considerable concern.
  • the closure of the clinic erodes the community. People expressed concern at the effect of the closure on other businesses in the Centre, including the chemist, supermarket and newsagent.
  • One woman commented that if she had to wait for hours to see a "random GP" at the Phillip Clinic she may as well go to the Emergency Department where she will see a random doctor at no direct cost to her.
There has been strong media coverage in this story. Members of the public have posted comments to the Canberra Times website in response to Natasha Rudra's story last Friday.

There is a petition circulating. This will be forwarded to Primary Healthcare on Thursday night so that it arrives on 8 August. Contact the office of Annette Ellis at 205 Anketell Street
Tuggeranong or by calling 62931344

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