Alarm at Miller HUB privatisation

Protest: The Hub at Miller volunteer Eileen Neale (middle) and 2168 members Gladys Nimmett and Judy Arkley. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale
Protest: The Hub at Miller volunteer Eileen Neale (middle) and 2168 members Gladys Nimmett and Judy Arkley. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale

THE HUB Community Health Centre at Miller is facing the prospect of losing its NSW Health workers — and the community is not impressed.

The South Western Sydney Local Health District, which has run the centre for the past 15 years, is considering privatising the HUB allowing it to be managed by non-government agencies.

Miller resident and HUB volunteer Eileen Neale had gathered more than 150 signatures in a petition against the proposed managerial changes.

"[NSW] Health cannot understand that what is going on here is unique," she said.

"We have people at the top of the chain who know and will do just about anything to help the community.

"And we have volunteers who run fundraising stalls, market days, Christmas carols, the buses — we have a cast of thousands that help."

Ms Neale said privatising the HUB would take away what the community needs.

"How can a general manager who has had no training in health or no training with the community run this place?" she said. "I don't know what the community would do without the health workers.

"If I could get an interview with the Health Minister herself . . . I would say 'please come out here and see what is done here. Don't take the people away from us'."

South Western Sydney Local Health District acting general manager of community health Justin Duggan says the local health district recognises the HUB is much valued by the community.

"The district is exploring ways in which the social and welfare services provided by the HUB be better provided by external partners, including the non-government sector," he said.

"An external consultation phase is under way involving key stakeholders in and around Miller.

"Once this consultation is completed a final model of service delivery will be developed for the HUB to ensure the best outcome for the community."

NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner wrote to Liverpool MP Paul Lynch in January and said the process was due to be completed last month; however, Mr Duggan did not say when the consultation phase would end.

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