Thousands of Australians living with incurable neurological diseases have been given an early Christmas present on the back of a $5.8 million announcement, and hopefully Tamworth is at the forefront of the new program.
Last Monday the Federal Government announced a pilot program that will see 15 Specialists Neurological Nurse (SNN) positions installed across Australia, with a particular focus on Parkinson’s Disease.
While the details of which locations will be chosen Parkinson’s Australia CEO Steve Sant believes regional areas, “like Tamworth”, could be in the box seat.
That was music to the ears of a local committee, who have been lobbying hard for an SNN in Tamworth for over eight years, and so far without much success.
The group met with Barnaby Joyce and former rural health minister Senator Bridget McKenzie in July, and are hopeful that contact puts them near the front of the conversation.
President Trish Betts welcomed the announcement, but is also eagerly awaiting to hear further details.
“It is really good news,” Mrs Betts said.
“After all our hard work, and our recent meeting with Barnaby and Bridget we hope that Tamworth is in a really good position to finally get a nurse.
“We would be so grateful, and it would be so helpful to so many.”
A nurse based in Tamworth could potentially service a huge area of inland NSW up to the Queensland border and west to Moree.
“Now we really need to let them know that we want to be on that list,” Mrs Betts said.
“I hope our representatives get on board and put some weight behind Tamworth getting a position.”
A spokesperson for Barnaby Joyce’s office said the New England MP will certainly be putting the region’s hand up once further details are released.
Inverell based Senator John Williams, a Parkinson’s Disease sufferer himself, has also previously thrown his support behind an SNN in the North West.
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