X-ray service closes today
THE pending closure today of Murwillumbah’s only full radiology service is a tragedy for town, says former mayor Max Boyd who remembers attending the official opening of the facility about 15 years ago.
South Coast Radiology will today close its King Street x-ray operation, with patients having to travel to Tweed Heads from Monday.
A spokeswoman said the operation had not been profitable for some years. It is understood competition from a radiology unit at the Murwillumbah Hospital offering free services was too much.
In a letter to local doctors, the operators said the Murwillumbah branch would close today “due to rising operational costs and decreasing private patient numbers”.
Mr Boyd said the closure was a tragedy affecting up to 30,000 people in and around Murwillumbah at a time when the town was growing and the aged population increasing.
“It will be a huge loss to Murwillumbah,” he said. “It’s a loss for older people and we have a lot of older people in this area.”
Mr Boyd said he believed many local people were not aware they could get the necessary scans done in Murwillumbah and hoped a “stay” could be put on the closure decision.
However, the spokeswoman said there was “no chance of a delayed closure”.
“We can understand that the Murwillumbah community is upset about the imminent closure of their local South Coast Radiology practice,” she said.
“The partners of South Coast Radiology are also disappointed as we have invested significant time and funds into supporting the medical requirements of the Murwillumbah community for many years and to close any business is unfortunate for all involved.”
She said all staff had been redeployed to other practices.
“We cannot continue to operate a non-profitable practice.”