General Practice Medical and Visiting Medical Officer Services at Culcairn
Currently General Practice (GP) Medical Services and Visiting Medical Officer Services at Culcairn are in a transition phase following the retirement of Dr Jan Reddy who had provided both services in Culcairn for over 46 years.
Sarkon Healthcare Pty Ltd has purchased the medical practice at Culcairn in July 2019 and Principal Dr Niranjan Sarjapuram said that face to face consultations are being provided from 8.30am to 4.30pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and Tele-health consultations are available Monday and Friday.
Dr Sarjapuram said that Sarkon is working towards having a Doctor working full time at the medical practice and providing services to aged care and hospital facilities by end of this year. The clinic would also be supported by a team of allied health and other medical professionals.
Unfortunately pathology services are not part of core GP services in Australia, however, Sarkon is working with pathology providers to provide 2 days collection services at Culcairn. In the interim, Sarkon has arranged weekly home collection service (Thursday) for the elderly and those unable to drive to Albury or Holbrook, Dr Sarjapuram said.
Sarkon management acknowledges that there will be short term challenges that they will face during this transition phase but they are committed to continuing to provide medical services to the Culcairn community to the best of their ability.
Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) Director Clinical Operations Cherie Puckett said MLHD is working with Sarkon Medical to support the GP’s who are working in Culcairn to also work as Visiting Medical Officers (VMO’s) at Culcairn Multipurpose Service. The District has offered additional training to support skills training.
“MLHD aims to have all hospitals in the region staffed by registered nurses with a VMO available to provide onsite medical support when needed,” said Ms Puckett.
“In a Multipurpose Service, VMO’s are on call for emergency presentations and can admit patients to a hospital bed if they require ongoing care or observation. They also provide care for the MPS’s aged care residents.
“Culcairn MPS’s Emergency Department is currently staffed by experienced registered nurses who are supported by the Remote Medical Consultation Service and the Critical Care Advisory Service using the latest technology.
Aged Care residents are currently being cared for by a GP from Henty.
Greater Hume Council Mayor, Cr Heather Wilton understood the community’s frustration with the deterioration of service levels to the community with the availability of GP, VMO and Pathology services and reassured the community that Council was working with all parties, including the Culcairn Local Health Advisory Committee, to improve the availability of services at Culcairn.
Cr Wilton said the challenges by faced by the Culcairn community were not new to Greater Hume communities with similar issues being experienced in Henty and Holbrook in recent years. Be assured that Council will continue to work with all parties to ensure an adequate level of medical services in the Culcairn community Cr Wilton said.