Cygnet Medical Centre petition
In response to the June 26 Huon Valley Council decision to progress selling the $1.2 million Cygnet Medical Centre built in 2012, concerned community members are circulating a petition. They are requesting the council hold a public meeting in Cygnet, so that residents and ratepayers can fully understand how the community may be affected by any potential sale resulting in private ownership of this public asset.
Among questions not addressed in the report to the council meeting are:
1. Why is a sale being proposed half way through a five-year lease?
2. Under the grant agreement to fund building the medical centre how much is the council required to repay to the Federal Government if the building is sold before 2032?
3. What provisions have been made to ensure that if privately owned the Cygnet Medical Centre will provide adequate medical services into the future for an aging population, especially noting the recent retirement of Dr John Wilkins, who provided home visits for so many?
4. Has the HVC thoroughly assessed the adequacy of the medical services available to the community and the full potential of this purpose-built building for future service provision?
If you have concerns please sign the petition located in the Red Velvet Lounge, Lovett Café, IGA and other locations in Cygnet, as well as DS Coffee House in Huonville.
Carol Murphy

Cygnet Medical Centre: part of a more efficient health system
Last week the State Government announced new health initiatives that will benefit everyone, especially those of us living in regional areas, with recruitment of additional paramedics and the upgrading of ambulance stations.
The plan is that an estimated 22,000 triple zero calls per year will be assessed by a secondary triage service, so that up to 16,000 patients who do not require emergency treatment, or to be transported to the emergency department at a hospital, can be connected with more appropriate health services in their local areas. Here in the Huon Valley, the Cygnet Medical Centre, with its existing emergency treatment room, has the potential to provide a purpose-built facility that could be incorporated into this more efficient health system. This modern medical centre, which was funded by the Commonwealth Government, is currently owned by the Huon Valley Council and could be adapted as required to provide a base for such services in the region. However, the council has made clear its intention to sell the medical centre into private ownership, so that opportunity could be lost to the Huon Valley community.
The population of Huonville and Cygnet is increasing rapidly and the Cygnet Medical Centre is very well placed to become an integral part of the State Government’s scheme to improve ambulance and health services south of Hobart.
Liz Smith

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