Long-serving Walcha Multipurpose Service (MPS) doctor Adrian Allen stepped down on June 30, but Hunter New England Health (HNEH) is yet to find a replacement with locum doctors continuing to provide a stop-gap for the service.
Walcha Mayor Eric Noakes said Council is committed to providing as much assistance and support to HNEH as it can.
“This issue is very complex and difficult to resolve,” he said.
“It is also an issue that is duplicated in many towns. Council has renovated their house in Croudace Street to facilitate accommodation for a doctor and provides this at a subsidised rental. In the interim medical services in Walcha are fully covered and will continue to be.”
Ms Susan Heyman, HNEH Executive Director Rural and Regional Health Services said Walcha also has access to support from GPs located in other towns as part of the ‘Small Town After Hours’ program, and staff from larger facilities via telehealth technology.
“For complex and very unwell patients, a specialist doctor in Armidale, Tamworth or Newcastle is able to observe the patient and the situation and direct appropriate care to local clinical staff, to ensure patients and residents in Walcha can access the best care possible,” she said.