WITH a desperate shortage of GPs in Gunnedah, locals are missing out on vital appointments and in response a community care provider has launched a new transport service to get people the help they need.
After listening to the community's concerns, GoCo will launch the 'GoCo Doctors Run' to transport Gunnedah community members to Tamworth and Boggabri each week for specially reserved doctors appointments.
GoCo's transport team and volunteers will drive locals to and from their homes with the GoCo bus to 'GoCo reserved' appointments at North West Health in Tamworth and the Ochre Medical Centre in Boggabri.
Gunnedah mayor Jaime Chaffey recently described the local GP shortage and situation on the ground as at "crisis level" as the council and community continue to push for more doctors on the ground.
GoCo's executive manager Bruce Mercer said it was clear there is a need to help people attend these appointments until Gunnedah can attract more doctors.
He said the initiative was a partnership with Gunnedah Shire Council and came about when the team listened to the community and even experienced the challenges to see doctors locally themselves.
"We'll need to attract more volunteer drivers and carers to accompany clients on the Doctors Run, so we implore community members who are willing and able to put up their hand to become a GoCo volunteer," he said.
Appointments will need to be booked directly with North West Health at East Tamworth Medical Centre or Ochre Medical Centre in Boggabri using a special GoCo reference.
GoCo will then need to be contacted in order to book a seat on the Doctors Run.
The initiative is available for all new and existing GoCo clients and bookings can be made now for appointments commencing in March 2021.
If you are not a GoCo client, you can contact 02 6740 2240 to find out how to join.
Appointments are available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings for Tamowrth's North West Health at the East Tamworth Medical Centre and every second Tuesday morning for Boggabri's Ochre Medical Centre on 1 Wee Waa Street.