Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) today announced Ochre Health as the new provider of medical services in Multipurpose Services (MPS) in six communities in the District’s north-west.
The contract covers the provision of medical services in MPS facilities in Bourke, Brewarrina, Collarenebri, Coonamble, Lightning Ridge and Walgett from 1 March 2021.
“Ochre Health has extensive experience in providing medical services in rural and remote NSW, including being a former provider of medical services to a number of the towns covered by this contract, so they are very familiar with the region,” Acting Chief Executive of the WNSWLHD, Mark Spittal said.
“Responses to the tender were rigorously assessed and evaluated by an independent panel. Ochre’s commitment to providing care to these communities was outstanding.
“We are making this investment now to secure sustainable, reliable and high-quality medical services into the future.”
Under the new contract, people in Bourke, Brewarrina, Coonamble, Lightning Ridge and Walgett requiring urgent care will be seen face to face, any time of the day or night, by a doctor who is either on site, or who is called in.
“It is expected that face to face doctors will also be available in these towns on Saturday and Sunday mornings for all those who present to the ED regardless of their triage category. Less urgent patients will be seen by a doctor through our remote access services out of hours,” Mr Spittal said.
“These are arrangements that most people who attend the MPSs in these communities are already very familiar with.
“In Collarenebri, because of its size and proximity to Walgett, Lightning Ridge and Moree, we will have a doctor available to treat patients on site at the hospital three days a week with access to doctors available on the other four days through remote access.”
“Both WNSWLHD and Ochre Health have a strong commitment to managing people’s chronic illnesses in a way that gives them the best possible health and reduces their need to attend the emergency department.
Ochre’s doctors will also be caring for patients admitted to the MPS facilities and reviewing aged care residents when required and the resident does not have their own GP.
Wherever possible, Ochre Health is committed to having doctors who live in these towns and when that can’t be achieved to having regular locums so that the community can be familiar with the doctors providing their care. They are also strongly committed to helping train the future medical workforce for rural and remote NSW. Their proposal met or exceeded all our tender requirements.
“Ochre will now start preparing to commence their contract next year by talking to local GPs, service providers, the communities and stakeholders such as the local Councils,” Mr Spittal said.
“We want this transition to be seamless so that come March next year, Ochre’s doctors are ready to start caring for our patients in those MPS sites.”