Ed Warren.
Ed Warren. Amelia Ahern

Voices for Central West health services finally heard

SOON Alpha and Jericho residents will be able call their GP for an appointment, with more ease.

This is not normally something to write home about but after years of lobbying for improved health services, local voices have been heard.

The Central West Hospital and Health Service Board's chairman Ed Warren said appointments had been increased 100%.

"There will be a doctor in Alpha four days a week instead of two," Mr Warren said.

"There will also be a doctor in Jericho one full day a week.

"This is just the first step - it is part of a work in progress to delivery better service to the area."

He said that at this point Alpha and Jericho would have two GPs, both from the clinic in Barcaldine.

"GPs with rural generalist accreditation are very thin on the ground," Mr Warren said.

Plans were still being drawn up for the new hospital, with no set date - but the community would be informed, he said.

"The concept plan will be out in the very near future," he said. "We will talk to the community about the plan and seek their thoughts on it. Building is set to start this year and we would hope to have it completed next year."

Hospital Auxiliary Committee member Gail Peckett said increased GP appointments "should certainly improve things".

"We now have a doctor on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday," she said. "There were often times you couldn't get in at all."

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