Costs put end to GP ser­vices

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

Dampier and Wick­ham have lost their lo­cal com­mu­nity health ser­vices af­ter not-for-profit provider 360 Health + Com­mu­nity an­nounced the clo­sure of its GP clin­ics in both towns.

The group moved to Wick­ham in De­cem­ber, 2015 and ex­panded to Dampier last year, of­fer­ing GP and other health ser­vices.

At the open­ing of the Wick­ham clinic, 360 Health chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Hersey told the Pil­bara News the or­gan­i­sa­tion was com­mit­ted to the town for the long haul.

“We don’t re­ally care about the iron ore price or con­struc­tion cy­cle, we’re here to pro­vide a ser­vice and will be here as long as the com­mu­nity needs it,” he said.

360 Health busi­ness sup­port man­ager Eve Cur­rie said while pa­tron­age at each clinic had been good, costs had proved too high an ob­sta­cle. “Unfortunately 360 Health + Com­mu­nity has been forced to close our GP clin­ics in Dampier and Wick­ham due to un­sus­tain­able op­er­at­ing costs that, as a char­ity or­gan­i­sa­tion, we can­not main­tain,” she said.

“We will be com­mu­ni­cat­ing to all cur­rent pa­tients about the clo­sures/changes at the prac­tices.

“They will be ad­vised to con­tact other GP ser­vices in the short term while we en­deav­our to de­velop an on­go­ing ser­vice with lo­cal providers.”

Ms Cur­rie said 360 Health was in dis­cus­sions with the City of Kar­ratha on a po­ten­tial on­go­ing so­lu­tion for Dampier and pos­si­bly Wick­ham, but the or­gan­i­sa­tion would not be the di­rect provider of the ser­vice.

Wick­ham Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Fiona White-Har­tig said the town had been left dis­ap­pointed by the lack of no­tice.

“We have lost a valu­able ser­vice we can’t af­ford to lose,” she said.

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