Tourism boom in Dubbo causes people in need of medical accommodation to fight for options
When Daniel Mulvay had to bring his daughter to the Dubbo de Cobar Base Hospital for medical tests, he booked at a non-profit charity accommodation site in the city.
But it wasn’t until he had to extend his stay at Macquarie Home Stay that things got worse.
- Macquarie Home Stay offers 17 rooms for patients and families of hospitalized people
- Operators say they had to turn down 103 requests in May due to lack of availability
- He intends before council to expand to 63 rooms to help accommodate more people
“I was only supposed to stay here for a few days because my daughter was not supposed to be in the hospital for long, but I ended up staying there for 11 days,” Mulvay said.
“Because my daughter’s condition had not changed, I had to move because other guests were coming and I had to find other accommodation.
“It was pretty difficult because there was no room anywhere because the NRL was on; it was amazing.
Mr. Mulvay found accommodation for one night before moving to another hotel for two nights and then returning to Macquarie Home Stay.
“If it hadn’t been for Macquarie Home Stay, I don’t know what I would have done,” he said.
“I couldn’t afford to stay in a hotel all the time.
“If I hadn’t been able to go back, I should have stayed in my car.”
Hundreds of people turned away
Macquarie Home Stay General Manager Rod Crowfoot has seen the number of accommodations at his property increase steadily since it opened in 2019.
“We knew there was a need for this specialized accommodation facility,” he said.
“What we know now is that we have a facility that responds to a real and tangible need within the community and makes a real difference for patients and their caregiver or escort when they are in Dubbo.”
From mothers placed in bed, to cancer patients receiving treatment or parents of sick children, Mr Crowfoot said there were a variety of guests who stayed with them.
“Patients travel about a third of the state’s geographic footprint to Dubbo to receive medical treatment – from Broken Hill in the west, the Queensland border in the north, through the Moree Plains regions. and Narrabri and including the Mudgee region.
“Some patients can take two days to get to Dubbo; it’s a huge commitment for them to make the trip, and we’re very happy to be able to provide them with a place they can call home while they’re here. “
Expansion projects with the board
The Dubbo establishment has 17 guest rooms.
“We only had nine empty rooms throughout May and turned down an incredible 103 reservations,” Crowfoot said.
“This is unprecedented and a huge concern.”
Macquarie Home Stay has proposed to Dubbo Regional Council to expand its master plan to 63 accommodation units.
“The demand is there; the need for us to grow and provide more affordable housing has become a priority,” Crowfoot said.