Hunter New England Health (HNEH) is hard at work strategising on how to attract doctors to town, as part of their preparations to open the Gunnedah Rural Health Centre in the future.
The facility was handed over to HNEH in August, and rural and regional health services executive director Susan Heyman says work is now under way to bring the facility 'up to standards'.
Ms Heyman also said doctors would be independent of HNEH if they were to set-up in the Marquis Street building.
Doctors would rent their space from the organisation.
"We're also finalising plans to extend an expression of interest (EOI) for doctors to rent space for an independently-operated GP practice in the building," Ms Heyman told the NVI.
"It is expected the EOI will be advertised before the end of the year."
She explained the terms would be very broad to garner as "much interest as we can".
"In having a look at the building, we identified what floor space might be available in terms of waiting rooms and procedural rooms for GPs to operate from. We've been successful in identifying those spaces and the next step is to put out an EOI," Ms Heyman said.
"We purposefully have not pushed a lot of restrictions on it, but what we want are GPs who are interested in running their own independent business in a multi-disciplinary environment and have access to the hospital if that's what's important for their patients."
She said HNEH would also be working closely with the Rural Doctors Network and the Primary Health Network "which are federally funded and support GPs".
We're creating an environment that is very much a health care precinct where the doctors, nurses, allied health, and administration staff work together for the community of Gunnedah and surrounds.HNEH's Susan Heyman
Other spaces in the centre have been determined after numerous planning meetings.
Ms Heyman said services would be located with other like services, "to ensure they can maintain close relationships and work together as a team to provide quality care to patients".
For example, services supporting women and infants would be located in the same area of the building, including women's health, child and family health services, immunisation clinic and Aboriginal health services.
"If arranged ahead of time, a person may come in for an appointment and speak to a number of different staff, receive care or make plans for future care or appointments, depending on their health needs at the time," she said.
The community health antenatal clinic will also move into the centre, after running from a stand-alone building on the other side of the health service previously.
"We're creating an environment that is very much a health care precinct where the doctors, nurses, allied health, and administration staff work together for the community of Gunnedah and surrounds," Ms Heyman said on Tuesday.
"We'll keep working on it and working with the community."