A Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) spokesperson said they're disappointed they weren't able to work with RARMS to solve the loss of one of Coolah's doctors. Dr Abbas Haghshenas Adermanabadi decision to leave followed after contract negotiation, the terms of which Dr Haghshenas was unhappy with.
"The WNSWLHD has made considerable efforts to work with RARMS and is disappointed it will no longer be operating its general practice in Coolah," a spokesperson said.
"The town continues to have access to other GP services and the local hospital has VMO services, providing outstanding care to patients and residents. The VMOs and other clinical staff at the Coolah Health Service supported by a range of innovative telehealth services.
"The WNSWLHD will continue to work with council and other local organisations to develop opportunities to attract more general practice services to Coolah.
"The 2019/20 budget for the Coolah Multi-Purpose Service is more than $2 million."
Member for Barwon Roy Butler said he had spoken with Chief Executive of WNSWLHD Scott McLachlan and is confident there can be a permanent solution put in place for GP services in Coolah.
"For the time being there will be locum practitioners in addition to an existing GP practice and the Coolah Hospital for those needing care," Mr Butler said.
In my mind, there's no substitute for having a doctor who's covering those VMO contracts and GP services in the town.Member for Barwon Roy Butler
He said he agrees too that while telehealth services are valuable, they cannot substitute for an in-person medical service.
"Lots of people accept that telemedicine is a part of our future, when it comes to accessing specialist services in regional communities, the unwavering position that I have... is that when we've got a VMO position, or the requirement for GP to be in the town, there's no substitute for that," he said.
"In my mind, there's no substitute for having a doctor who's covering those VMO contracts and GP services in the town."
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