Cowra doctors could be asked to cover ‘on-call’ duties in Grenfell.
The Greater Western Area Health Service (GWAHS) has flagged the proposal during a meeting with the Weddin Shire Council as a way of easing the pressure on Grenfell’s existing GPs.
GWAHS is still trying to recruit a visiting medical officer to work at the town’s hospital.
The health service’s medical workforce coordinator, Richard Elligett, says Cowra’s doctors would not be forced to take on extra work.
“Definitely be voluntary. We hope to be talking to some of the doctors in Cowra in the near future but yes we certainly couldn’t demand that of them,” he said.
“They would have to be willing to do it. Just the simple scale of the … services in Cowra makes it easier in that sense.”
Mr Elligett says any concerns about doctors having to travel the 50 kilometres to treat emergency and accident patients are unfounded.
He says alternative arrangements would be put in place.
“The high end emergency services couldn’t be covered from another town, that would never be the intention,” he said.
“If we can’t get resident doctors as visiting medical officers in Grenfell we would need to talk to the ambulance service about taking very serious patients directly to another hospital.”