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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Country Health SA
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 CHSALHN GP Agreement

Improvements to the GP Agreement announced in November 2014

Media Release

Summary of Improvements

GP Agreement Contract



Questions & Answers

The above improvements are to be read in conjunction with the following 
letter of introduction released in November 2014

Letter of introduction

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  Welcome to Country Health SA Local Health Network (CHSALHN)  

The Country Health SA Local Health Network (CHSALHN) is part of SA Health which oversees the rural health system in South Australia.  We are transforming health care and delivering health benefits so that rural and remote South Australians live healthy lives.



Call for Service Providers commences at Mount Gambier Hospital
Country Health SA is seeking interest in the provision of two important services at Mount Gambier Hospital. South East Regional Director Jayne Downs said specialists can now put forward proposals to provide orthopaedic emergency and surgical services at Mount Gambier Hospital, while a similar process will also be undertaken for the hospital’s ophthalmology service. “As required by SA Government procurement guidelines, a call for interest and proposals for the provision of orthopaedic services at Mount Gambier Hospital has now been released to the market,” Ms Downs said.

Naracoorte Medical Services
Medical services at Naracoorte Hospital will continue to be provided by locum doctors following a decision by Kincraig Medical Clinic to reject a new service contract with Country Health SA. Chief Medical Advisor Dr Peter Chapman said Country Health SA had put forward a fair and reasonable offer to Kincraig Medical Clinic. “We are disappointed that Kincraig Medical Clinic has decided not to accept a new standard GP contract, with almost 100 per cent of rural doctors across the state having committed to this approach,” Dr Chapman said.

Furry friends lend a hand
Mount Gambier Health Service’s first ever pet therapy program commenced this week. Country Health SA South East Regional Director, Jayne Downs, said the program will be delivered in conjunction with the Blue Lake Obedience Dog Club and includes a number of specially trained furry friends. “We know that people who regularly spend time at their local hospital or health service can feel isolated and disconnected from their normal life,” Ms Downs said. “Many people have pets at home that they are unable to see and others simply enjoy the feeling of friendship that going for a walk or cuddling an animal can bring.

Mental Health Services closer to home (PDF 120KB)
The Mount Gambier Integrated Mental Health Inpatient Unit (IMHIU) will start seeing its first clients today after officially opening its doors to the public. Country Health SA Acting Director, Mental Health, Strategic Operations, Nicole Jones, said the six-bed unit will provide high-quality, specialised mental health care. “The South East is just the third country community in South Australia to have a country-based inpatient mental health facility that will provide a level of mental health care not previously available in this region,” Ms Jones said. “Specially designed with the needs of mental health clients in mind, the inpatient unit will allow consumers to focus on their recovery in a flexible and therapeutic environment. 

97 per cent of rural GPs sign new deal (PDF 120KB)
The deadline for responding to Country Health SA’s Standard Rural GP agreement offer has concluded, with 97 per cent of rural doctors committing to the new contract. The agreement is a standard contract between rural GPs and Country Health SA to provide medical services in country hospitals. Country Health SA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Rebecca Graham, said the high rate of acceptance ensured all country hospital services would continue without interruption. “The Standard Rural GP agreement is key to ensuring high-quality health care in the 64 country hospitals located across our state,” Rebecca Graham said.

Mount Gambier Mental Health Unit (PDF 120KB)
Mental health services in the South East are set to expand when the new Mount Gambier Integrated Mental Health Inpatient Unit opens on Monday, 29 June 2015. Acting Director, Mental Health, Strategic Operations, Nicole Jones, said the unit was originally scheduled to open in April, however this date had been revised to ensure the most appropriate staff mix is in place to treat patients.

GP Contract Discussions Complete
Country Health SA has concluded discussions with the Rural Doctors’ Association of SA and the AMA SA branch regarding the Standard Rural GP Agreement. Country Health SA’s Chief Executive Officer, Maree Geraghty, said finalising the discussions had given certainty and clarification to rural GPs who have already signed the agreement, and those still considering the offer. “On 1 April 2015, Country Health SA announced a number of improvements to the Standard Rural GP Agreement, which were endorsed by the AMA SA branch,” Ms Geraghty said. “Since this announcement we have continued to have discussions with both the AMA SA branch and the Rural Doctors’.

Riverland Mental Health Appointment
Country Health SA has announced a new expert appointment to mental health services in the Riverland. Acting Director, Mental Health, Strategy and Operations, Nicole Jones said Dr Sarath Attanayake will provide full-time psychiatric cover at the Integrated Mental Health Inpatient Unit in Berri. “We are extremely pleased to welcome Dr Attanayake to our Riverland mental health team,” Ms Jones said.

Hospital Healing Garden Flourishes (Maitland Hospital)
The Maitland Hospital healing garden is continuing to thrive thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers. Maitland Hospital Executive Officer/Director of Nursing Tracy Haynes said the garden had been embraced by the local community since being planted in 2012 as part of the hospital’s 100 year celebrations

Aboriginal Art Work Unveiled (Port Pirie)
A new Aboriginal art work has been unveiled at the Environmental Health Centre in Port Pirie. Environmental Health Centre Manager Georgina Bickley said the art work, which is located in the family and children’s waiting room, is an exciting addition and provides a cultural and educational experience for all those attending the centre. “We are very pleased to be able to display this wonderful new art work to the visitors of the Environmental Health Centre and to the wider community,” Georgina said. “The art work has been created by Aboriginal artists Cedric Varcoe and Judith Crosby, and is designed to highlight the importance of eating healthy food every day.

Rural GP Agreement Improvements
Country Health SA has today announced improvements to the Standard Rural GP agreement. Country Health SA Chief Executive Officer Maree Geraghty said the improved Rural GP Agreement has been endorsed by the Australian Medical Association, SA Branch. “The Standard Rural GP agreement is key to ensuring high quality health care in the 64 country hospitals located across our state,” Maree Geraghty said. “Since announcing the new agreement in late 2014 we have received important feedback from rural GPs about how the contract can better meet their needs. “One of the key changes we will be making as a result of this feedback is the introduction of a three per cent fee increase when doctors provide a number of emergency and after hours’ services.

South Coast Hospital to have doctors 24/7
Medical officers will be based at South Coast District Hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week as part of a new medical model being introduced. Country Health SA Chief Executive Officer Maree Geraghty said the new model will see doctors on site throughout the day and overnight to provide emergency and inpatient services, as occurs at major metropolitan hospitals.

New English Tutoring Program for International Families
A new tutoring program will support international residents who move to Roxby Downs by improving their English and offering them a forum to build new friendships. The new English tutoring service will align with the Strengthening Our Families (SOF) initiative which will allow volunteers to be supported and clients to enjoy a coordinated service. Strengthening Our Families Coordinator Rebecca Eli said that three volunteers had been trained through TAFE SA in English Tutoring with the intention of supporting residents new to Australia.

Building Works at Elliston Hospital and Pines Hostel
Building works are continuing at Elliston Hospital and the Pines Hostel as part of a number of redevelopment projects underway at the health service. Elliston Hospital Executive Officer/Director of Nursing Anthony Ryan said building works first commenced in July 2012 and had already delivered significant improvements for staff, patients and aged care residents. 

South Coast Community called upon to help name health service
South Coast residents are being urged to have their say on the naming of an important local health service. Barossa, Hills and fleurieu Regional Director Debbie Martin said the decision to choose a new name had been prompted by a major redevelopment of the region’s community health care facilities. “We are currently undergoing a very exciting $10 million redevelopment of the community health services at Victor Harbor,” Debbie Martin said. 

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