DP Jones closure puts vital Murchison services at risk

By Spencer Fowler Steen

The closure of Murchison’s DP Jones nursing home will put other vital service providers in the town at risk without promised funding from the Federal Government.

Murchison Community Action Group chair Warwick Gregory said Murchison now not only faced the closure of the nursing home, which was the biggest employer in the town, but also risked losing its medical centre, pharmacy and Neighbourhood House.

Neighbourhood House and the medical clinic are partner organisations with DP Jones under the umbrella organisation Murchison Community Care.

Murchison Medical Clinic's Dr Susan Furphy in her consulting room where she has treated hundreds of Murchison residents.

Neighbourhood House co-ordinator Jenny Lister said her organisation, which provided more than a dozen services, including an opportunity shop, hairdresser and community meals, had its funds frozen when the nursing home went into administration.

“All of our future plans have been put on hold because we can’t access money and the uncertainty around our future,” she said.

She said without financial support from the State and Federal governments the centre would close.

Devastated: Murchison Medical Clinic practice manager Rachel Smith faces an uncertain future.

Murchison Medical Clinic practice manager Rachel Smith said the administrator had left them in the dark about potential buyers, with the risk of an outside investor increasing rent to a level unfeasible for doctors to work.

“We don’t have any sense of what is going to happen,” she said.

Murchison Medical Clinic has more than 1500 patients who have been seeing doctors there for more than a decade.

Mr Gregory said Murchison was now seeking support federally from Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck and Member for Nicholls Damian Drum.