From ABC News Online

The outback town of Nhulunbuy in Arnhem Land, which had a population plummet after the closure of an alumina refinery, is set to have its only GP clinic close.

Endeavour Health Services last week announced it will shut in January, citing a drop in patients, an inability to secure a lease, and the removal of a housing subsidy for doctors and a freeze on Medicare rebates.

The health service has operated in Nhulunbuy since the 1960s and historically has been subsidised by mining company Rio Tinto and the Northern Territory Government.

But an alumina refinery that employed about 1,100 of the town’s 4,000 residents was mothballed in May 2014, and Nhulunbuy’s population plummeted.

Since the refinery closed its doors, Rio Tinto is understood to have ended its housing support for doctors who worked at the clinic.


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