NEWLY appointed chair of the embryonic Mid North Coast Local Health Network Warren Grimshaw is about to have a lot more paperwork hit his desk.
Mr Grimshaw was appointed to the new position on Friday.
Advertising has now begun for chief executive positions for 15 local health networks, including the Mid North Coast.
These positions, which offer five-year contracts and ‘attractive’ remuneration packages, are vital to the establishment and rapid functioning of the new health bodies.
Applications for the positions close on November 23 and those for the Mid North Coast will land on Mr Grimshaw’s desk.
The successful CE will be chosen by Mr Grimshaw and his governing council, the names for which have not yet been chosen, although applications have already closed.
The current head of the larger North Coast Area Health Service, Chris Crawford, who is based in Lismore, is unlikely to apply for the Mid North Coast position when the NCAHS ceases to exist on December 31.
Whoever gets the nod will be expected to ‘lead the local health network through its establishment and development to successfully achieve its priorities and performance objectives under the national health reforms and State service agreements’.
Hovering near the top of the local problem list will be the fears of Bellingen and Macksville Hospitals about their positioning under the new system and the load placed on Mid North Coast health services, especially emergency services.
Two factors are putting huge pressure on Coffs Harbour Base Hospital’s Emergency Department. One is the historical under-funding of the city’s emergency department.
Leaked hospital documents say Coffs Harbour is eight full-time equivalent medical positions behind other hospitals in the region, a situation leading to increased clinical risk for ED patients; increased waiting times and failure to achieve key performance indicators; increased risk or errors and increased risk of staff burn-out compared to similar hospitals.
The other, which directly affects ED, is the Pacific Highway and the Coffs Coast’s accident rate, where tired drivers face single-lane highway conditions. This situation has become so serious the Mid North Coast Division of GPs is mobilising local leaders for a concerted push to fund the highway.