Narooma doctor roster victim of funding crunch

THE long-standing after-hours doctor roster in Narooma is being abandoned after Commonwealth funding that paid for the administration of the joint-surgery service dried up.

The town’s three doctor surgeries are now scrambling to see how they can still offer services to their patients.

Lighthouse Surgery has decided to open its Narooma practice on Saturday and also to have a doctor on call for its patients, practice manager Amanda Cox said.

But without the Commonwealth subsidy, the practice could not afford to keep the current system going and it ended on the weekend.

The Bluehouse Surgery and Wagonga Street Medical Clinic meanwhile are set later this week to discuss their own roster system, Bluehouse manager Amanda Doust said.

She said some form of roster system existed since her father Dr Ken Doust introduced his own 29 years ago and then it was expanded to the other practices.

A spokesperson for the Southern NSW Medicare Local at Moruya said Commonwealth funding administered by the Department of Health for GP After Hours ceased in March 2014.