After 10 years of community pressure, NSW Health has announced that the Manly Hospital site will not be sold to developers and will be retained in public hands, after it closes in November 2018 when the Northern Beaches Hospital is commissioned. However, just what services will be offered is still unknown.
The site however will be surplus to NSW Health requirements. This provides an opportunity for various buildings on the site to be made available to the Manly community for health care purposes.
A team of dedicated community members are working to shape the proposed Manly Community-driven Health Care Facility (McHCF) to fill the current health care gaps in our area.
This group has identified the buildings on the site which they believe would be suitable for reuse, and they are currently putting together proposals on how community-based health services could operate from this site.
Community member and resident Lubo Kulisec; a well recognised heritage architect and overseas health care administrator, has already done a great deal of work assessing the site working with fellow local, Darryl Dobe.
"The first objective of this initiative is to seriously consider the re-use of 13 or more of the existing Manly Hospital buildings. So far external site assessments have been completed, and the internal assessment of all buildings has been undertaken. There are many candidate buildings which are suitable for re-use", explained Darryl Dobe.
Over the next 12 months, before the Manly Hospital closes, appropriate funding model(s) need to be devised for scrutiny by the NSW Health Infrastructure group, to ensure that they incur no long term debt associated with the on-going community site usages. The community team are looking at areas such as palliative care for youth, aged care services, mental health support and so on.
A website and Facebook page have been established for interested community members to enable them to remain abreast of the current situation, and the proposed re-use of current building infrastructure. It is also possible to participate in an array of initiatives deemed necessary to pro-actively prepare for the Hospital's closure.
Read about some of the innovative ideas under consideration and consider playing an active role.
Website Portal: http://yourselfhelper.com/manly-community-health-care-facility/
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.