Group granted $100,000 to solve doctor shortage
A working group has been given $100,000 in the Federal Budget to find solutions to the Peninsula's doctor shortage.
The working group consists of three local doctors, two practice managers, a local nurse and Mingaletta's health manager, as well as representatives of the government's Primary Health Network, which extends as far as New England.
The doctors are Dr Paul Duff from Woy Woy, Dr Roger Molesworth from Ettalong, and Dr Cherie Castaing from Umina.
The practice managers are Ms Cate Nesbitt from Woy Woy and Ms Jill James from Umina.
The nurse is Ms Gaylene Parsell and Mingaletta's health manager is Auntie Di (Ms Dianne O'Brien).
The $100,000 will be managed by the Primary Health Network but the funds have been quarantined to address the needs of the Peninsula.
Primary Health Network CEO Mr Richard Nankervis said: "The funding will allow the network to develop both short and long term strategies to ensure people on the Peninsula are able to access to quality primary health care.
"With a number of GPs nearing retirement, our short term our focus will be on recruiting more full time general practitioners to the Peninsula.
"Longer term solutions will involve the network working with stakeholders to increase the number of GP registrars coming to the area and working with practices to implement strategies to increase the utilisation of other primary health care professionals.
"For example, we know the use of practice nurses frees up a GP's time so they can focus on more acute or serious cases."
Member for Robertson Ms Lucy Wicks said: "The Network has found that at least five new full-time equivalent doctors are needed locally.
"This funding will help ensure the right resources are available to support this need," she said.
Media release, 10 May 2017
Tim Sowden, office of Lucy Wicks
Interview, 11 May 2017
Media statement, 11 May 2017
Scott White, Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network
Reporter: Jackie Pearson