Extra medical services are expected to be introduced in the Southern Riverina with Medicare Local taking a greater interest in the area.
A new dental service is already being introduced in the Berrigan area, and councillors are confident additional allied services will follow.
The potential for new services was raised with Berrigan Shire councillors at a recent meeting with Medicare Local representatives.
Medicare Local was established under the recent Federal Government national health reforms to coordinate and connect primary health care services across the region.
Berrigan Shire Mayor Bernard Curtin said it is already evident it is achieving its goals.
He said the organisation has the potential to create more ‘‘good’’ in the community.
He said it looks well placed to ‘‘take over the reigns’’ of a supporting role to Berrigan, Jerilderie and Urana Shire hospitals.
‘‘Up until now, there had been division of practices,’’ he said.
‘‘It seems Medicare Local is really taking place of Murrumbidgee Local Health.
‘‘Medicare Local seems to be on board with assisting the area with getting some extra services.’’
Cr Curtin said among the new services that could be introduced to the regional as part of Medicare Local new interest in the area include dental, physiotherapy and more.
A dental service is already being introduced to the community, with Deniliquin’s Charlotte St Dental offering services to Berrigan once a month starting in February.
Cr Curtin said similar services across other medical fields would be beneficial to shire communities.
He said the Medicare Local initiative will also go a long way in helping Berrigan Shire councillors achieve their goals for the community.
‘‘It is a good thing.
‘‘We are all volunteers and we are supposed to represent the community with what we (they) require.
‘‘Medicare Local will help with this.’’
With a significant change expected in the running of medical services in the community, Cr Curtin said he sought assurance from Medicare Local CEO David Dart that efficient services will be untouched.
He said he was pleased with Mr Dart’s response, and was looking forward to working with him for the benefit of the community.
‘‘I think it is going to go well. David (Dart) is very enthusiastic.
‘‘And we have been advised that anything working well won’t be touched.’’
Deputy Mayor Brian Hill was also bolstered by the changes to health services in the local area, but said continued partnership and work would be needed to see it succeed.
‘‘There was a very positive feeling received.
‘‘The message we received is that everyone needs to work together, but it is a great start.’’
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