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Collapse Issue 568:<br />01 May 2023<br />_____________Issue 568:
01 May 2023
Woy Woy dawn service well attended in warm weather
Rotary and college represented at Ettalong service
Schools take part in Anzac Day march
Large crowd for Pearl Beach dawn service
Service at Ocean Beach surf club
Aged care homes hold services
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Doctors called to save after-hours service
Tesch appointed as disability parliamentary secretary
Trust funds three environmental projects
State MP enters Federal MP's photo competition
Administrator changes his mind about carpark sale
Information night about foreshore restoration
The Bays Bushcare Group to hold open day
New varroa mite detection in Woy Woy zone
Ettalong celebration for 100th birthday
Rotary offers free dementia training
Reid addresses United Nations
Fire brigade attends regional show
More trees needed for liveability, says shade tree group
Men's Shed completes project at Woy Woy school
Life membership for men's shed founders
Rotary to continue with Opera in the Arboretum
New lighting noticed on bingo nights
Flea market stalls to be tried at Bays breakfast
Beach St upgrade at least two years away
Photographer to speak at Rotary club
Rotarian visits village near Kokoda Track
Library hosts free talk about meditation
Ettalong cafe stocks CWA jams and pickles
Two weeks of holiday activities end
Pile burn in Patonga Dr not found
Progress association holds general meeting
The importance of full names
April rainfall below average but above 19-year median
Our poverty rate 25 per cent more than NSW - NCOSS
Council 'condemned' over Blackwall Mountain plan
Residents calls for 40 per cent tree canopy target
Council adopts community land management plan
Single dwellings approved with non-compliances
Core values of a traditional Anzac service
Invitation to form advisory body
Staff get first look at aged care home extension
BreastScreen bus is back in Woy Woy
Covid cases now 'treated individually'
New beds turn aged residents at the touch of a button
Anzac Day, a time to offer support
Virus numbers almost treble in two weeks
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Little Theatre runs youth theatre festival
Classic Cinema Club resumes at Pearl Beach
Little Theatre to present Agatha Christie play
The Bays Art Show entries open
Jodie Campbell appointed as Ettalong principal
Ettalong dance group qualifies for dance festival
Holly wins medals in international archery events
Students visit textile exhibition
Mother's Day stall at Umina Beach
Aboriginal education was focus of development day
Nine students qualify for State swimming championships
Woy Woy Lions suffer narrow defeat
Narrow rugby victory for Warnervale
Bridge club plays Anzac Day pairs
Mixed pairs bridge championship
Eagles netball player was most-valued player
Bunnies win grant for website upgrade
Charity bowls day held in mild weather
Cycle ride to Gosford and return
Diggers' Day attracts 77 members
Farewell to long-time bowls player
One-of-a-kind Anzac Day jerseys
Women's Minor Pairs championships played
Join our team as a sports reporter
New surf boat launched



Doctors called to save after-hours service

Local doctors have been called to put their names on a roster to save the After-Hours Medical Service at Woy Woy Hospital.

If most doctors respond, a commitment of as little as one evening every couple of months could be enough.

"This practice will close if more doctors don't join us," said Dr Paul Duff, a director of the service.

He said the service was operated by a non-profit co-operative of local doctors.

"A few years ago, most of the doctors who worked on the Peninsula shared in the workload of running the after hours service," he said.

"This meant that doctors would do a weekday evening once every one to two months and two to three weekend days per year.

"This was a small extra effort, even for very busy GPs, to make sure that all our patients could access GP care 24/7."

The roster had fallen from more than 40 doctors to "barely a dozen", one in five of the 55 doctors currently working on the Peninsula.

"Some of the doctors on our roster are close to retirement or have retired and are only contributing because of the sense of loyalty they feel to this community and to their colleagues.

"Unfortunately, over the last few years, many local GPs have withdrawn from the service while most of the new GPs to the area have refused to join the cooperative.

"It's hard to maintain this cooperative spirit when others don't cooperate," Dr Duff said.

He said the service was currently operated by four doctors from the Ettalong Medical Centre, two doctors from Providence Medical Umina, four doctors from the Woy Woy General Practice, one doctor from the Woy Way Family Practice and one doctor from the Corner Family Surgery Wyoming.

Dr Duff said the situation had also worsened because of the effect of a change in the relationship between the hospital and the local GPs.

When the service started, the doctors operating the after hours service "also manned the hospital until quite recently".

"This model of local general practitioners co-operating to staff a hospital and an after hours medical service through that hospital is very common in rural and regional Australia.

"A few years ago, however, the Central Coast Local Health District chose to run the hospital with dedicated hospital doctors, limiting the direct support they were allowed to provide us."

Dr Duff said the Woy Woy After Hours Medical Service depended on grant funding, with the support the Federal government via the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network.

He said the Covid pandemic had been "an enormous strain".

"It certainly doesn't help that, for the last two years, we have operated at a loss.

"We would like to return to being able to offer nursing care, but it is financially impossible."

Dr Duff said the service had approached Member for Robertson Dr Gordon Reid and the Health Network "to try to improve our funding to offer the best service possible".

"The after-hours medical service started with the opening of Woy Woy Hospital and has run ever since, meaning that we are also celebrating 50 years of service to the community," said Dr Duff.

"It was set up as a co-operative to bring together the local GPs to help share the workload of caring for the community.

"If this co-operative closes, it is very unlikely that another co-operative will ever open on the Peninsula."

"If this happens there will be nowhere for the patients of the Peninsula to go other than Gosford Hospital or the Bridges After Hours Service at Erina."

He suggested that residents could ask their doctor about their after-hours arrangements and whether they were on the after-hours medical service roster.

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