COUNCILLOR Jacqui Rudge says people have to tread carefully when talking about potentially relocating the Panorama Clinic.
Last week, Cr Warren Aubin called for the mental health facility to be relocated so the space could be used to expand Bathurst Hospital's emergency department.
Panorama Clinic was used at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide additional emergency beds, with the extra space a precautionary measure in case the hospital was swamped with COVID-19 patients.
The clinic has since re-opened, and the ED has lost the additional beds, which Cr Aubin said has seen it become overwhelmed.
Given the success of Panorama Clinic's hospital at home delivery, the felt the time had come to rethink how the clinic operates.
"I know there is a case for mental health, but surely they can find another area within the hospital to house it, so the ED can utilise those beds," he said.
"The Government is throwing cash around, why can't we look at converting the old nurses quarters into the Panorama Clinic?"
However, Cr Rudge, who in 2020 opened up about her own experience with Panorama Clinic, is not convinced his idea is the best solution.
"Relocating Panorama Clinic is a huge call," she said.
"Where are we going to relocate it to? There were no options there other than the nurses quarters, which Cr Aubin mentioned; there's a lot of work to be done with the nurses quarters from what I can gather.
"You can't just move a facility. There needs to be appropriate measures taken and facility put in there that are appropriate for people needing mental health care."
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She said that any decisions about the future of Panorama Clinic had to be made by qualified people.
"That's not my call. That's up to the people in charge of the unit there to make that decision," Cr Rudge said.
"There's people who are a lot more qualified than I am, and Cr Aubin, to make those decisions about where the Panorama Clinic facility should indeed go to.
"I'll leave that decision up to the professionals."
She stressed that people experiencing mental health issues were very vulnerable and they needed appropriate facilities, as hospital at home care wasn't for everyone.
"Mental health is the same as any other illness. You go to the emergency ward if you have a broken leg or other things that happen to you," Cr Rudge said.
"... Just because it's got 'mental' in front of the sentence doesn't mean it's not a health issue."