Medical tender saves Shire $500k
Jurien Bay Medical Centre’s new operators are settling in after Dandaragan Shire Council voted to tender the service out and save ratepayers $500,000.
A Shire spokesperson said the Shire had provided a cash contribution and rent-free use of Jurien Bay Wellness Centre on Whitfield Road to previous provider IPN.
“As a result of this tender process, the Shire received three submissions bidding for the contract,” she said.
The successful tenderer, Perth-based Spectrum Health, employs two doctors and two receptionists at Jurien Bay and was operating another practice at Sandpiper Street.
IPN handed over patients’ files and Spectrum moved into the Wellness Centre at Whitfield Road on November 6.
Practice manager Neesha Murray addressed several concerns raised on social media.
She said eligible Medicare card holders were 100 per cent bulk billed for general appointments, although there were charges for some services such as pre-employment medicals.
“We will advise a patient of any fees there will be before they come for an appointment,” she said.
Ms Murray said while no female doctor was currently employed, a woman GP would be starting sometime in the next few months, and a fulltime nurse from January 18.
She said it was not true the practice could not take blood samples. “The doctors do them,” she said. “If patients prefer to get the blood test done by a nurse, we can always book them an appointment next door where the nurses’ station is until we get a full-time nurse.”
Ms Murray said the practice had had no complaints about the doctors.
“We are trying to pick up where IPN left off — there was quite a bit of confusion with patients not being aware they had left,” she said. “We still have same-day appointments, so if people are looking for an appointment, we are never fully booked so far.”
A Shire spokesperson said doctors were employed by IPN under the old arrangement, not the Shire, and could work for Spectrum Health if desired.