The Streaky Bay District Council has agreed to purchase the Streaky Bay Medical Clinic in the wake of the impending doctor shortage in the town.
The council said it had been working closely with the Streaky Bay Medical Clinic in discussing options surrounding the future of the clinic after it was made aware of the resignation of Doctor Zeli Sobantu, who has taken up a position elsewhere in the state, and the retirement of clinic owner Doctor Rob Oswald.
The council continued these discussions with its elected members and mayor Travis Barber also met with associated medical organisations in Adelaide to gain insight and ideas for moving forward.
A special meeting was held on Thursday, January 4 to resolve the council’s position on the matter, where it agreed to purchase the clinic.
Mr Barber said it was a decision the council had to make given the short-term future of the clinic.
“Council out of necessity has come to this decision, due to the pending resignation and retirement of our current doctors,” he said.
“We are faced with the very real possibility that we will be a community without a doctor and this arrangement will assist the community in its ability to retain this service.
“Council has obligations under Section 7 (b) of the Local Government Act to provide services and facilities that benefit its area, its ratepayers and residents, and visitors to its area, including public services or facilities, health, welfare or community services or facilities, and cultural or recreational services or facilities.”
The council will form an incorporated association that is community driven and will own and manage the facility and its activities on behalf of the district.
Mr Barber last month called on Health Minister Peter Malinauskas and Country Health SA to do more to get doctors to Eyre Peninsula towns, with Streaky Bay struggling to fill or increase its medical ranks in addition to towns such as Wudinna and Kimba.
Dr Oswald said last month it would be “pretty tragic” that Streaky Bay would soon have no doctor.
The council is inviting all members of the community to a public meeting on Tuesday, January 16 from 7pm at the Streaky Bay Community Complex for information on the changes and transitioning, as well as seeking interested persons to establish the future incorporated association.