Medico calls for unity

By BELINDA F SCOTT

COFFS HARBOUR needs a medical working group that can bring many interests together and look at the 'bigger picture' for the city's medical development, says Dr Ned Abraham.

The Coffs Harbour-based colorectal and general surgeon has been listening with interest to the problems being encountered by his colleagues, especially those specialists who are attempting to establish new medical ventures in the city.

As a specialist who himself has no development under way, but foresees the time when he may want to become involved in a similar venture, he is keen to see a clear pathway established.

"I would like to see a working group where the interests of the council and the medical profession are represented," Dr Abraham said,

"At the moment there is confusion because there are so many interested parties ? Baringa, the doctors, the health campus, and that can cause confusion. We could end up going in circles.

Dr Abraham said the city had the potential to become a significant centre in terms of providing health care for whole the northern third of NSW, so planning was important.

"We have sub-specialist surgeons who come regularly to Coffs Harbour and some of us have sub-specialties of our own, so it should not be difficult to expand the services available," he said.

He does not want to see a picture of doom and gloom painted for patients, saying the city had five general surgeons, close to the recommended ratio of one surgeon to every 10,000 people, and was also serviced by at least 30 specialists.

But he said the clinical plan which had been in place for at least five years had put a new vascular surgeon at the top of the 'shopping list' and a palliative care specialist doctor was also important for a city with a large aged population.



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