Simon and Helen Holliday send welcome news about the establishment of an enlarged and comprehensive new medical practice in Taree – “The HealthHub . . . for every body.”
They’re relocating from Albert Street Medical Centre to the Butterworth carpark bordered by Albert /Victoria /Pulteney and Manning Streets, Taree.
This is a positive and welcome expansion given the problems at Manning Rural and Referral Hospital ( as it’s been now downgraded). However there is still a group on the war path to fight New England Hunter Health to properly fund and upgrade services and facilities at The Manning Hospital. And the new hospital at Forster was never going to happen despite election promises.
So this new step by Dr Holliday is a positive one. It will provide full GP services with the same team plus new doctors and trainees including Dr Lawrie Nguyen, Dr Anne Jolly and Dr Sujeewa Dissanayake. They will support the education of medical undergraduates as well as plan to assemble a multi-disciplinary team to cope with the varied and many health problems in our area.
Our electorate is the oldest in the country with the highest rate of strokes and chronic pain nationally, before we even address the social and medical issues of pharmaceutical opioid overdosing. With the shortage of doctors and an under-resourced hospital , the community can’t just rely on specialists who specialise in one organ system or emergency departments to tackle complex cases which need holistic or multi-faceted care.
‘We’re dedicated to improving primary care here in our part of rural and regional Australia,’ said Dr Holliday.
Dr Holliday, and his wife, Helen, a registered nurse, moved to the Manning from Singleton where he was a procedural GP in the 1990’s. “When Helen and I were having our first child, 23 years ago, we decided to relocate. We bought a solo practice in Lansdowne because it wasn’t too far away from family and because the Manning has a very strong arts community; very important for Helen, who is a singer.
“I’ve been a GP registrar supervisor for a substantial amount of time, even since I was back in Singleton. Our profession has that wonderful tradition of helping each other learn and improve, whether in early or late career. GPs have really got to be thinking all the time about those coming after us, the next generation of doctors and about succession, to ensure everyone can access good care in the future.
‘We’re looking forward to this new step in helping and supporting our community.’