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Collapse Issue 579:<br />09 Oct 2023<br />_____________Issue 579:
09 Oct 2023
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Council withdraws reserve from reclassification process
Ettalong ferry service may not resume for weeks
After-hours medical service announces closure
Umina chosen for Urgent Care Clinic
Baiting program to target wild dogs and foxes
Church holds Blessing of the Pets
Brigade members walk to Little Wobby to fight fire
Ferry wharf trees removed
Four gardens take part in Edible Garden Trail
Varroa mite eradication efforts abandoned
Grants to local groups*
Cooking competition held at Umina CWA*
Shade tree group seeks 'watering angels'
Monthly community breakfast raises funds for hall*
Dementia cafe held last week*
The reward of removing a weed
Crafts centre to hold exhibition and sale*
Food donated to Mary Macs for pets
Pelican Park and cricket club benefit in State Budget*
Official 'farewell' as Jane steps down from presidency*
Heritage boat challenge to run along Woy Woy channel*
Gardening club meets at Umina library*
Marine rescue training*
Rotary club holds Swinging 60s night*
Rotary club holds trivia night*
Council announces second year of 'stable' finances*
Free graffiti removal kits*
Low monthly rainfall for September
Planning Panel insists on boundary landscaping
Proposal for 21 flats in Trafalgar Ave
Submission claims consultant's remarks are offensive
Removal of large street tree approved by planning panel*
Architects show options for Peninsula Plaza
Lions Park future joins other Peninsula consultations
Two petitions oppose Austin Butler reclassification
Little about Peninsula in Strategic Planning Statement*
Reserve is less than a metre above sea level*
C'mon Rik, hit up that nice Mr Minns for some trees
Trees are not the enemy, urban heat is
Keep an eye out for sick pelicans as weather warms
No action on Peninsula heat island health crisis
Change of Hart, but not out of the woods
Yes, no or I don't know*
Aunt moves in to aged care facility to be near neice
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Umina artist wins ephemeral art prize
Musicians support Yes vote*
Patchwork group member showns three recent quilts*
Early childhood educators meet up at St John's
Woy Woy South is 'excelling', says principal
Positive behaviour brings joy, says principal
Call for parents to label jumpers
School raises almost $5000 through skipping challenge
A range of improvements at Woy Woy South*
New roofs on two school blocks
Students take part in netball gala day
Ettalong holds 'shelter in place' drill*
Donations wanted for Christmas raffle*
Ettalong Eagles in zone bowls finals
Woy Woy Lions under-12s show them how it is done
Ettalong charity bowls raises $1000
Outrigger club attends first regatta for season
Bunnies to hold annual general meeting*
Cricket club receives grant for mobile scoreboard*
Cycling club holds two rides from Woy Woy
Bridge club announces Saturday 'best three' winners
Fab Fenton hosts sports trivia quiz*
Beach patrol season starts
Surf club team completes Kokoda Trail trek
Association announces 'phase two' netball players
Social bowls ahead of NRL final
Photographers wanted for park run
Roosters announce signings for 2024
Two major soccer awards to Southern and Ettalong
Council grants $2000 for soccer marquee*
Boardriders hold joint party*
Swans receive grant for canteen equipment*



After-hours medical service announces closure

The Woy Woy After Hours Medical Service has announced that it will be closing this Friday, September 29, having operated for 50 years.

The service secured two years' fixed Federal funding to cover costs, but has been unable to find enough GPs to staff the service.

"The number contributing is now so small that we cannot reliably stay open, meaning we can't sign the funding contract to continue," said service director Dr Paul Duff.

"For a few years now, we have been depending on a small group of doctors doing much more than their fair share to staff the service.

"This year has seen a number of those doctors become unavailable, either because of retirement, ill health or because they are leaving the Peninsula."

The last clinic will run between 7pm and 10pm this Friday and will be staffed by Dr Duff himself.

The announcement coincides with the expected announcement tomorrow of the establishment of a Medicare Urgent Care Clinic in Umina.

Dr Duff said that the service had been set up in 1972 as a cooperative amongst the local doctors.

"At that time, they all were owners or part owners of their own small general practices and shared the work of staffing Woy Woy Hospital.

"This made them deeply committed members of the community and made working together to share the burden of after hours care just good sense," he said.

The after-hours cooperative of GPs was formed shortly after Woy Woy Hospital opened in 1972.

"Since then, we have had Gough Whitlam's Medibank and Bob Hawke's Medicare, the evolution of General Practice into a recognised specialty branch of medicine, the introduction of practice accreditation, the large scale of corporatisation of general practice and 40 years of Medicare neglect by successive Federal Governments," Dr Duff said.

"The small GP-owned practices that were at the heart of the service have all but disappeared from the Peninsula and the number of doctors who have been prepared to step into the breach of those older GPs as they have retired or wound down their practices has shrunk year by year.

"We have been appealing to the local practices for years to step up and to encourage their younger doctors to contribute but in spite of this more and more of the workload has been taken up by existing doctors with less and less fresh blood coming in," Dr Duff said.

"We have worked very hard over the last few months to keep the service running," he said.

"We are very grateful for the support we have received from our patients and the local community in the recent battle to lobby Government for the funding.

"In the end, the Federal Government did offer us a two-year funding agreement linked to a modest increase.

"This would probably have been enough to keep us going, although the rising costs of things like insurance and wages would have made this a challenge because the funding was fixed for those two years.", he said.

Dr Duff said the dwindling number of doctors prepared to work with the service had been "a looming issue that has been threatening us for years".

"You can't run a cooperative if no one is prepared to cooperate," he said.

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