Since the 360 Health and Community general practice closed a year ago, Wickham residents have had to travel to Roebourne or Karratha for medical treatment, a most unsatisfactory outcome.
Council was extremely disappointed by the clinic’s closure, particularly after so short a time, and while Health is a State responsibility, our staff have been doing their best to encourage a new practitioner to set up in Wickham. It is vital in a remote area such as ours for people to be able to see a doctor and access healthcare services when they are sick or injured.
Since the clinic closed, officers have worked closely with Rural Health West to explore ways get a general practice up and running again in Wickham but unfortunately, it is difficult to attract and retain doctors to towns in regional areas all over Australia. For remote towns such as ours, with small populations like Wickham the situation is even worse.
While the Wickham community has been without a doctor for quite some time, this month the City received two offers to provide general practitioner services in the old GP clinic.
To have not one but two proposals to re-establish medical services is an exciting step towards healthcare services in Wickham resuming and while it’s early days, it is an encouraging development.
The next step is for the City to advertise for tenders to provide medical services in Wickham. This will happen shortly and the intent is to ensure Council can obtain the best outcome for the community.