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Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson has welcomed the news that Expressions of Interest (EOI) for local GP clinics to participate in a state-wide rollout of the Single Employer Model for rural doctors are well underway.

Mr Anderson said towns like Gunnedah, Tamworth, Werris Creek, Manilla, Barraba and Quirindi had been struggling to attract GPs leaving significant gaps in primary health care in the region.

“We know our towns and villages have been struggling with a shortage of GPs for some time,” Mr Anderson said.

“Towns like Gunnedah, Tamworth, Werris Creek, Manilla, Barraba, and Quirindi have struggled to attract GPs, causing significant issues in our hospitals.

“EOIs are now open in preparation of the first intake of doctors in Tamworth and Gunnedah early next year.

“Despite GPs being the responsibility of the Federal Government, I have been focused on doing everything I can to attract GPs to our region.

“Whether it’s through improving liveability in our towns and villages, or building more health worker accommodation near our hospitals, I’m always looking at new ways to attract and retain health workers.

“The Single Employer Model is showing real promise in helping with the GP shortages that are impacting communities in the southern part of the state and I am confident that the model could work here.

“We are opening an EOI stage for the model to identify which GP practices in our region wish to participate in hosting and supervising a doctor in their practice, on the days they are not working in the local hospital.

“This could see doctors undertaking advanced training at hospitals such as Tamworth and Gunnedah as early as next year, and eventually networked out to health facilities in areas such as Manilla, Barraba, Quirindi, and Werris Creek.

“Now is the time for local GP clinics and practice managers in our area to contact Hunter New England Health or the PHN to express a firm interest in this great program if they have the capacity to participate.”

A formal Memorandum of Understanding is yet to be signed between NSW and the Commonwealth to formalise the required arrangements and federal exemptions, however, NSW is ready for a state-wide rollout of the program.

By beginning the EOI process, the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is ensuring that regional areas are set and ready to receive new doctors.

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