NSWODGP petitions council for medical centre extensions

NSWODGP’s interim CEO Peter Spence, CPHCC’s practice manager Bernie Martin and NSWODGP’s contract manager Liam Rice at last Thursday’s council meeting.

The NSW Outback Division of General Practice (NSWODGP), which operates the Cobar Primary Health Care Centre (CPHCC) in Harcourt Street, has petitioned Cobar Shire Council for a $300,000 extension to the centre.

NSWODGP Interim CEO, Peter Spence made a presentation to Cobar Shire councillors at an extraordinary meeting of council last Thursday.

“The CPHCC is in need of significant extension of the premises to enable further recruitment, retention and accommodation of General Practitioners, Allied Health, Nursing, Aboriginal Health workers and administrative staff,” Mr Spence told councillors.

“Extension to the existing practice premises requires four additional clinical consulting rooms and one training/meeting room to provide the necessary infrastructure and space to support the expansion of the General Practice, Nursing and Allied workforce in the centre.”

Mr Spence said the extension would increase opportunities for teaching and training at the centre and would help to leverage other key health care partner organisations to provide additional health services for Cobar.

He said the extension would cater for an additional 5-10 primary care workers to work out of the centre.

Mayor Lilliane Brady said she understood the need for more space at the centre but voiced her concerns of the need for a long term lease of the council-owned building before they went ahead with any work.

She also questioned if the CPHCC had plans to move into the proposed new Multi Purpose Health Service.

Mr Spence replied that NSWODGP had been a part of the consultation process of the new Multi Purpose Health Service but their preference would be to stay where they are.

“Would you sign a 10 year agreement?” Mayor Brady asked of Mr Spence.

Mr Spence was reluctant to commit however he did say he “imagined that would be the case”.

He said NSWODGP would be keen to work with council to secure funding for the extensions to the centre.

Mayor Brady said she would be willing to take the matter to the Health Minister and seek funding.

“We’ve got to have assurance and know what you’re going to do,” Mayor Brady said.

Cobar Shire general manager Peter Vlatko said the original idea to convert the garage of an adjacent council dwelling into extra consulting rooms has been rejected as not being the best use of money.