IN a recently released statement, Wentworth District Community Medical Centre Inc. (WDCMC) said that to highlight the fact that Wentworth hasn’t had a GP clinic since February this year, they are now petitioning the New South Wales Parliament, in an effort to have something done to correct this malaise, which is severely disadvantaging their community.

With the loss of the GP clinic, also came the loss their pathology collection service.

WDCMC Establishment Group president, Glenis Beaumont said that the recent months have been full of anxiety for locals as they try to find alternate GPs, arrange transport and negotiate with GP clinics, many of which have limited capacity for new clients.

“WDCMC is a local not for profit incorporated association of community members who continue to seek solutions to the absence of full-time local GPs in Wentworth through all avenues available including media, Far West Local Health District, Wentworth Shire Council and politicians,” she said.

“Currently WDCMC has a petition underway to the NSW Parliament to raise awareness of Wentworth’s lack of a GP clinic, lack of full-time doctors and lack of critical health infrastructure.

“Our petition specifically refers to two poor health statistics for Wentworth.”

The statistics referred to relate to ‘potentially avoidable deaths’, which are those that occur before age 75 years, and are caused by conditions that are potentially preventable through individualised care and or treatable through existing primary health care (doctors) or hospital care.

The other key statistic relates to ‘potentially preventable hospitalisations’ being those conditions for which hospitalisation is considered potentially avoidable through preventive care and early disease management, usually delivered in an ambulatory setting, such as primary health care (doctors).

The statistics indicate that across almost two decades, Wentworth has had poorer results than the rest of NSW, with little or no improvement. The full details contained in the statistics are accessible via the NSW Ministry for Health’s web page – www.healthstats.nsw.gov.au.

“The town of Wentworth cannot hope to change these results without dedicated full-time doctors and a range of allied health clinicians accessible to our residents,” Ms Beaumont said.

“Recruiting full-time doctors to a rural location can be problematic, and evidence based research by NSW Rural Doctors Network, has identified that a significant barrier to recruitment is the financial burden of investing in clinic infrastructure.”

WDCMC’s vision of providing Wentworth with community owned infrastructure that is fit for purpose and can accommodate other providers, is based on the aforementioned research, and the knowledge that co-located services produce business opportunity and business growth to all, creating a win-win-win situation where doctors, allied health, and community all benefit.

The group’s petition is available to sign through the following local businesses: Wentworth Pharmacy, Jackpot Bakery, Curlwaa Motors, Wentworth Business Solutions and Murray House Aged Care.

WDCMC’s committee wishes to thank those who have already become members of WDCMC, and for the donations received.

Membership forms are available from the Wentworth and District Community Bank Branch and committee members.

Membership fees: $10 application fee plus an annual $2 membership fee.

Donations for Wentworth District Community Medical Centre Inc. can be made at the Wentworth and District Community Bank Branch, Darling Street, Wentworth.

For further information contact: Glenis Beaumont – m. 0427 056 678 e. bfbgfb@bigpond.com.

PICTURED: Dressing up to raise awareness of the ‘no doctors clinic’ is Ritchies IGA’s Store manager Leo Abdallat, and staff member Wendy MacLeod.