"Lack of health care in rural areas"

About: Carnarvon Community Health Service Royal Flying Doctor Service

(as the patient),

I live in Gascoyne Junction Western Australia, 175km east of Carnarvon. Gascoyne Junction is the hub of the Shire of Upper Gascoyne- one of WA's biggest shires. While the town itself is only 50-60 people in size, there are hundreds of people in the district. We recently had our only medical resource in the form of a fortnightly visiting doctor from Carnarvon cancelled due to lack of funding. It is now a 340km minimum round trip to access any medical or health service.

I recently suffered a suspected as a heart attack in the middle of the night, while I rang 000 it would be a 3. 5hr wait for an ambulance or any medical attention. My wife was forced to drive me into Carnarvon at 2am in the morning with our young children in the car. Not only was this terrifying but we hit two kangaroos causing serious damage to our car. Fortunately my condition improved and was not a heart attack, but the fact that we had no medical services available meant that we placed my entire family at risk by having to drive 170km at night to get help.

People have to take an entire day off work to access any form of health care or suffer until conditions warrant time off.

Please don't forget about rural Australians- we are just as important.

Responses

Response from Michele Young, Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services, WACHS-Midwest 4 years ago
Michele Young
Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services,
WACHS-Midwest
Submitted on 11/04/2016 at 16:44
Published on Care Opinion on 12/04/2016 at 08:19


picture of Michele Young

Dear Gassy Junction

Thank you for sharing your story on Patient Opinion. I'm sorry to hear about your experience it must have been a frightening time for you and your family.

I apologise for the delay in getting back to you as I have been doing some investigations and had to contact a number of other organisations who are involved in the provision of health care to Gascoyne Junction.

I have been informed that the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) is the medical emergency contact within the Shire of Upper Gascoyne. In an emergency, please call the Royal Flying Doctor Service on 1800 625 800

For emergencies requiring police presence please phone 000.

Please note when phoning the RFDS from a Satellite phone you need to dial 08 9417 6389.

There is a Royal Flying Doctor Service medical chest situated at the Shire of Upper Gascoyne office. The chest contains first aid supplies and is available to the public through contacting the Royal Flying Doctor on 1800 625 800.

In an emergency situation many Station Homesteads house a RFDS medical chest.

If the matter is non-urgent/non-life threatening contact Health Direct on 1800 022 222.

I have spoken with the CEO of the Carnarvon Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation (CMSAC) who has advised that they are currently negotiating to recommence a General Practitioner Service to the Gascoyne Junction and they should be able to provide an update in approximately 3 weeks.

Thank you again for sharing your experience on Patient Opinion and I wish you all the best.

Kind regards

Michele Young

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Response from Michele Young, Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services, WACHS-Midwest 4 years ago
Michele Young
Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services,
WACHS-Midwest
Submitted on 09/09/2016 at 18:52
Published on Care Opinion on 12/09/2016 at 14:21


picture of Michele Young

Dear Gassy Junction

Just an update on our previous response regarding medical services to the Gascoyne Junction. I am happy to report that the Carnarvon Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation (CMSAC) has negotiated the recommencement of General Practitioner services at the Gascoyne Junction. Services commenced the week of the 29 August with services available the last Wednesday of each month. CMSAC have advised that this is a trial service while CMSAC negotiate arrangements to provide an ongoing service to the community.

Bookings can be made through CMSAC by phoning (08) 9941 2499.

Kind regards

Michele Young

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