MURRUMBIDGEE Local Health District (MLHD) has said it will be doing more to help with the shire's doctor shortage, particularly at the Leeton District Hospital.
MLHD said it was investigating a number of options to support the general practitioner (GP) visiting medical officers (VMOs) who support Leeton District Hospital.
With reducing numbers of GPs in rural towns, MLHD said it was exploring different models for medical officers to support the hospital.
Locum doctors are also being sought to assist with immediate roster gaps.
MLHD chief executive Jill Ludford said doctors for rural hospitals were difficult to recruit, so a number of incentives would be offered to get them to Leeton.
This will include training and education opportunities and links with the Griffith Base Hospital medical team.
Ms Ludford said in 2019 there was a significant reduction in the number of GP registrars who have chosen to work in rural NSW.
“While the number of rural GP training places is going up, the number of people accepting them is going down," she said.
“This has significantly reduced the number of doctors available to support our local hospitals."
The news comes after a group of residents last week said they would be stopping at nothing to ensure Leeton shire gets more when it comes to health care.
Angela Uren, Robert Quodling and Jason Richardson are leading the charge to call for more doctors in Leeton, as well as ensuring the hospital's emergency department is consistently staffed by an on-call doctor.
A public meeting will soon be held with Member for Farrer Sussan Ley to discuss the issue.
MLHD has recently commenced a course for rural doctors to receive further training in emergency patient management.
“This additional training is available to up-skill doctors who have not had recent experience working in an emergency department," Ms Ludford said.
“The district remains committed to addressing the challenges in rural health workforce."
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