Lamb Foggo: a comedy of errors or a tragedy?

I’m trying to make sense of the saga that has become the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre.

Let’s do a quick time line to put it into perspective:

1. It was opened in 2009 at a cost of $7.5million.

2. BHB announced it was losing $250,000 a year.

3. Local MP and Government MP, Suzanne Roberts Holshauser said Government was not consulted over the plan to close, nor did it need to be and Government subsequently backed the BHB closure plan.

4. Residents in St David’s raise a petition of 5,000 names and march on Parliament in protest against closure plans.

5. In the face of the opposition to the closure, the Government says ‘OK, it will stay open until we have an alternative … ‘
Which leads us all the way back to point one.

Everyone got this wrong and no-one, except the local community, comes out of this with any credit.
The initial plan was way to grand…. it cost $5 million to build and $2.5 million to kit out. That was totally unnecessary, really exorbitant. Consider this: why not renovate one of the many old base buildings, staff the centre with three/four trained paramedics and have a team of doctors on call on a rota basis. Give it the equipment that caters for the most common ailments and a fast car. Nothing else was needed. Now we have wasted $7.5 million and even if Government finds an alternative use or someone who wants to take it over, that money will never be recouped. The past PLP regime needs to take responsibility for this………. and stop rewriting history when it makes the UCC a political football.

BHB did  not consult the community or apparently the Government. I find this quite saddening. The community should have been asked about the closure of a facility aimed at the community. It is bad PR and undoubtedly left a sour taste. The fact that Government was not informed also strikes me as strange. It is a fairly big decision and was bound to have fall-out.

Government caved in they said they listened to the people, but as we know there are marginal seats in this area. Call me a cynic but… and Government does not come out of this looking strong despite the Premier saying they are prepared to make the tough decisions.
I have always been in favour of the UCC, I have used it, not personally but when my wife cut her foot very badly.
But it was a good idea poorly executed. As I have said already, it should have been on a much smaller scale. If it had been I doubt we would be have the same problems as we are experiencing now.
I have said this before too, sometimes the community should come first. Sometimes the cost to the community is greater than the money saved, so I am glad that it is staying open in the short-term until a viable alternative is found.
Lastly, and I cannot quite put my finger on why, but there seems to be an irony in this: the Salvation Army needs $500,000, $40 million is being raised to pay-off the down payment on the new hospital wing and the UCC is losing $250,000 a year.
Why does this trouble me?

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