Local doctors will have their say

LOCAL doctors are not being left out of the loop in consultations over the new shape of the health system, says Chris Crawford.

The chief executive officer of the North Coast Area Health Service was refuting claims made by the Nationals Federal Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker on Thursday.

Mr Hartsuyker said the COAG agreement signed between the Federal and State governments showed that only clinicians outside a local hospital network would be allowed on that hospital’s governing board. This is the current Victorian system.

Mr Crawford said senior executives from the NSW Health Service were embarking on listening tours and no decision had been made about whether doctors working within local hospital networks would be part of the network’s governing council.

Mr Crawford said one of the deputy directors general of NSW Health would be in Coffs Harbour on July 7 as part of a listening tour.

“Doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, community representatives and managers will be invited to the meeting,” Mr Crawford said.

“The idea is to give everyone a presentation and update on the State/Federal situation and the local situation – what it will mean on the ground.

He said patient planning, referral paths which hospitals were traditionally related, which hospitals should be grouped together and how many hospitals should be in a group would all be discussed as well as who should be on the governing council, what role this council should play and how primary health care and hospitals would relate to each other under the new model.

“Mr Hartsuyker has jumped the gun – these things have not been decided yet,” Mr Crawford said.

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