by S Lowe 5THE FM FOR 5THE FM’s newsonline wattlerangenow.com.au
The Rural Doctors Association of SA (RDASA) has urged Country Health SA (CHSA) to engage with local doctors to ensure the continuation of medical services in a number of rural communities. The RDASA said today rural doctors are the key force for rural communities. They also urged CHSA LHN and the doctors in Naracoorte to meet and reach a satisfactory resolution so that obstetrics, anaesthetics, inpatient and emergency services can be reintroduced.
RDASA issued the following statement this afternoon :-
“The Rural Doctors’ Association of South Australia (RDASA) is calling upon Country Health SA LHN to engage with local doctors to ensure the continuation of medical services in a number of rural communities.
RDASA president Dr Peter Rischbieth says ‘It is important the CHSA LHN work with local clinicians to determine the critical support that is required at specific sites to enable doctors to provide a full range of services at their local hospitals.’
RDASA urges Country Health SA and the doctors based in Naracoorte to meet and reach a satisfactory resolution to their contract dispute so that full maternity, anaesthetic, inpatient and emergency services can be reintroduced in this important part of rural South Australia.
RDASA is also stressing the need for Country Health SA to meet with doctors at Kangaroo Island, Wallaroo and Port Lincoln to discuss the site specific supports that are necessary to maintain emergency services and maternity services in these important regional towns.
Dr Rischbieth states ‘These towns have experienced and well trained rural doctors providing services at local hospitals providing the full continuum of health care from cradle to grave.
Location specific supports already exist in over 18 different regional towns in South Australia and unless these community hospitals and their workforce are supported a large number of rural patients could face not being able to access services locally, increased travel time and costs to access services, and likely worse health outcomes.
Some of these locations have received periodic support from locums to enable doctors to have a break from being on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which has been appreciated.
Dr Rischbieth reports ‘RDASA is keen to assist Country Health SA in discussions with a number of towns whose site specific supports, including where extra locum support on busy weekends is still in limbo.’
RDASA calls on the State Government and Country Health SA to support rural doctors to undertake the vital clinical hospital services they are passionate about providing for their local communities, particularly when this is the most cost effective model to do so.
RDASA is keen to work with Country Health SA, the SA Government and the Health Minister Jack Snelling to progress these important issues for rural and remote communities.”
Yesterday Member for McKillop Mitch Williams said he would like the Health Minister Jack Snelling to explain why rural communities would, it seems, be expected to accept a differing level of health to the city.