Mayor fights for Bourke’s medical services


Bourke Mayor Barry Hollman says the Bourke community needs 24/7 health care to continue. Photo TWH

Bourke Mayor Barry Hollman is mounting a campaign to protect the community from proposed changes to local health and medical services, which he described as ‘abhorrent’.

Councillor Hollman is also calling on support from member councils of the Far West Joint Organisation to demand health and medical services across the region are maintained at their current levels.

He said he is baffled at an apparent decision to downgrade opening hours and doctor services, following the release of tender documentation for the provision of Visiting Medical Officer (VMO) services at the Bourke Hospital, by the Western NSW Local Health District.

The tender documentation proposes new requirements for Visiting Medical Officer coverage at the Bourke service, with the minimum face-to-face coverage over five days from 8am to 6pm.

Outside of these days and times, proposals will be considered for ‘virtual care service’ options.

Councillor Holman acknowledged that while the five day 8am - 6pm hours are a minimum and the final hours may vary, the tender documentation was a red flag that a reduction of services to the Bourke community was a definite possibility.

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