GP ob­ste­tri­cians: pushed out of KHC

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS -

The Gold­fields’ long­est-serv­ing gen­eral prac­ti­tioner ob­ste­tri­cian has echoed con­cerns moves by the Kal­go­or­lie Health Cam­pus to “push GPs out” of hos­pi­tal in­volve­ment is ag­gra­vat­ing the re­gion’s doc­tor cri­sis.

Plaza Med­i­cal prac­tice prin­ci­pal and GP ob­ste­tri­cian Kylie Sterry this week told the Kal­go­or­lie Miner she had been un­able to look af­ter her pub­lic ob­stet­ric pa­tients in hos­pi­tal for the past 12 months, and had only been ros­tered on to see her pri­vately in­sured pa­tients one day a week.

Tower Med­i­cal Cen­tre’s Mal­colm Hods­don, who worked as a GPO in the Gold­fields from 1979 un­til re­cently, said the hos­pi­tal also stopped him from be­ing able to see his pub­lic pa­tients in hos­pi­tal.

“Not only do I not do any ob­stet­rics, now I don’t look af­ter any of my (pub­lic) pa­tients in hos­pi­tal,” he said.

He said a lack of en­gage­ment be­tween the hos­pi­tal and lo­cal GPs was hav­ing a sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect on the Gold­fields’ ex­treme doc­tor short­age, which he de­scribed as the worst he had ever ex­pe­ri­enced.

“GPs used to be able to fol­low with con­ti­nu­ity of care, but that’s not hap­pen­ing any­more,” he said.

“There’s no way young doc­tors will come to Kal­go­or­lie.

“I can’t count the num­ber of GPs who have come here to do their train­ing and de­velop skills in ob­stet­rics, emer­gency medicine etc.”

WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice Gold­fields act­ing re­gional di­rec­tor Peter Tredin­nick said there had been changes to the ma­ter­nity unit at Kal­go­or­lie Health Cam­pus in the past year or so but no re­stric­tions had been im­ple­mented.

He said GPOs con­tin­ued to pro­vide low-risk ob­stet­ric ser­vices for both pub­lic and pri­vate pa­tients, and GPs with­out ad­vanced ob­stet­ric train­ing could part­ner in a “shared-care ar­range­ment” with ser­vices at the hos­pi­tal.

Dr Hods­don said he was no longer do­ing de­liv­er­ies be­cause he did not see enough pri­vate pa­tients to war­rant con­tin­u­ing the prac­tice.

The Royal Aus­tralian Col­lege of GPs said last week the State’s hos­pi­tals were shy­ing away from GPOs be­ing in­volved in births.

Pic­ture: Louise White Joanna De­la­lande

Dr Mal Hods­don is a long-serv­ing Kal­go­or­lie GPO.

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