THE Bathurst Health Services Action Group wants to see fewer patients being referred to Orange for specialist treatment.
Members of the group recently met with Bathurst Private Hospital's CEO and its head of nursing to discuss the state of health services in the area.
Councillor Warren Aubin, the spokesman for the action group, said that the meeting spoke volumes about referrals to specialists.
At the September policy committee meeting of Bathurst Regional Council, Cr Aubin said that the private hospital had at one stage engaged a plastic surgeon to work in Bathurst once a month.
"He came for three months and didn't have any work whatsoever," Cr Aubin said.
"He was then poached by someone in Orange, he went to Orange, and in the first month he had full lists and the lists that he had, 80 per cent of those were people from Bathurst.
"It's because our doctors in Bathurst are referring their patients to specialists in Orange."
He said the situation made you want to "throw your hands up in the air and bang your head against a brick wall" as it was so "ridiculous".
Speaking to the Western Advocate in more detail, Cr Aubin said it was important that patients had access to local specialists.
"Doctors in Bathurst in general are referring to specialists who are not in Bathurst," he said. "It's a two-edged sword; if there is not a specialist in Bathurst, patients have to go elsewhere."
The action group plans to lobby for more funding to be directed to health services in Bathurst.
At the same council meeting, Cr Aubin said the priorities were ear, nose and throat specialists, gynaecology services and a urologist.
According to Bathurst Health Service, the budget for Bathurst Hospital this financial year is more than $88,900,000.
Meanwhile, the Western NSW Local Health District has a budget of $979 million, which was said to be an increase of $35 million on the previous year.