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Tynwald presses ahead with health centre debate

An attempt to adjourn a Tynwald motion which could see £1.64 million spent on a new health facility in Jurby has failed.

North Douglas MHK John Houghton called for the adjournment, but the idea was rejected 17-7 in the House of Keys and 8-1 in the Legislative Council.

Earlier, the chairman of Michael Commissioners, Stephen Hamer, had appeared at the Bar of Tynwald to outline his board's concerns over the proposal.

He said the facilty at Jurby would have an adverse affect on the people of Michael and suggested two smaller 'fit for purpose' surgeries should be built, one at Jurby and the other in Kirk Michael.

Mr Hamer told the court it certainly wasn't a case of one village against the other (first part of audio file):

Plans for a health centre in Kirk Michael, agreed while Steve Rodan was health minister, were dropped by his successor, Eddie Teare, due to worries about GP costs. However, Mr Teare continued to work with Michael Commissioners to try and establish a medical centre in the village, as a branch surgery staffed by Peel and Ramsey doctors.

During today's debate, political member of the Department of Health Dudley Butt MLC made it clear that if the proposed health centre in Jurby was built, the existing 'makeshift' surgery in Kirk Michael would continue.

However, Mr Hamer wasn't convinced that would be practical (second part of audio file):

Clip 1

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