Med­i­cal ten­der saves Shire $500k

Midwest Times - - NEWS - Ge­off Vi­vian

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.

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