Flying visits: Action group wants hospital medical chief in region

By | September 9, 2019

At the September policy committee meeting of Bathurst Regional Council, there was concern raised about the fact the chief medical officer for the hospital, formally known as the director of medical services, doesn’t actually live in Bathurst.

Councillor Warren Aubin, who was speaking on behalf of the Bathurst Health Services Action Group, claimed that the director lives on the Sunshine Coast and is flown in and out every week.


He later told the Western Advocate that the role should be performed by someone who lives within the region, which he said would likely save money and lead to a better service.

The director of medical services is responsible for the safe, effective and efficient delivery of medical services at Bathurst Hospital.

Hospital general manager Cathy Marshall said the hospital was looking for someone who could fill the role permanently.

“Recruitment for a permanent director of medical services is under way,” Ms Marshall said.

“The current interim director of medical services is a locum who is employed to work five days a week as the DMS for the Bathurst Health Service and is based in Bathurst during the week.

“The current DMS works four days a week in Bathurst, and works remotely one day a week.”

The action group is made up primarily of local medical practitioners, who remain anonymous to protect their jobs.

Their next step is to campaign for more funding to be directed to Bathurst Health Service to correct what they’ve previously labelled “blatant shortfalls”.

In her statement to the Western Advocate, Ms Marshall noted the existing budgets for the area.

She said the total budget for Bathurst Hospital for the 2019-20 financial year was more than $ 88,900,000.

Meanwhile, the Western NSW Local Health District has a budget of $ 979 million.

“This is an increase of $ 35 million on the previous year’s annualised budget,” she said.

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Western Advocate – Health