The Central West NSW town of Condobolin will soon have access to increased local medical services when the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) reopens the doors of RFDSSE Medical Services- Condobolin, in January 2024.
“We’re pleased to be able to expand our primary health services and support another community to retain their health care services by assuming ownership of the GP clinic in Condobolin,” RFDS General Manager Health Service, Jenny Beach said.
RFDSSE Medical Services- Condobolin will be located in the Council-owned premises at 5 Melrose Street, Condobolin, and will open in early 2024 with an official opening date to be confirmed soon.
The practice will offer health care services including primary health, early intervention and prevention, health information and screening and chronic disease management. Appointments will be available to book once the clinic opens. In the future additional allied health services may be offered by visiting specialists including mental health clinicians, podiatrists and dietitians.
Ms Beach said the support received from Lachlan Shire Council and the Western NSW Local Health District had ensured a smooth process and the RFDS has been engaging with other local service providers to ensure they support community needs.
“We’re grateful for the support of the Council as we have gone through the process of establishing the practice, and for the use of the Council-owned building,” Ms Beach said.
“We would like to acknowledge the commitment of the existing healthcare providers and look forward to collaboration in delivering healthcare services to Condobolin and the surrounding region,” Ms Beach said.
Lachlan Shire Council Mayor Cr Paul Phillips said: “Council is very happy to welcome the RFDS to Condobolin. The community are pleased to have such a trusted and well-respected organisation providing medical services in the town. Council trusts that the community will embrace and support the RFDS to ensure their faith in establishing this service is repaid.”
Bulk billing will be available for children under 16, pensioners and health care card holders, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
In order to provide certainty for the Condobolin community, the practice will charge a small fee for patients who are not eligible for bulk billing. These fees go back into providing services to the community.
Condobolin is the third GP clinic the RFDSSE has assumed ownership of, with GP clinics in Warren and Gilgandra opened in December 2022.
“Despite the challenges of a shortage of medical professionals and rising costs in all areas, the RFDS is committed to rural, regional and remote communities having access to GP, allied health and nursing services,” Ms Beach said.
"We know that adding primary and preventive health care services in local areas has led to a reduction in emergency evacuations, because earlier identification and treatment means health problems are less likely to worsen to the point where someone needs to be moved out of their community and into a larger hospital,” Ms Beach said.
“The RFDS is evolving to meet the needs of modern regional, rural and remote communities, and one way we can do this is to help communities save their General Practices,” Ms Beach finished.
For more than 95 years the RFDS has been providing healthcare, including primary care and lifesaving emergency care, to people who live, work and travel in rural, regional and remote Australia.
The RFDS will continue to investigate and evaluate opportunities to expand primary health services.