AN experienced Bathurst doctor says there is a "profound lack of senior staff" in the city, while highly trained clinical professionals are becoming data entry clerks.
They are among a long list of problems the practitioner has identified in their personal account of Bathurst's health issues, which has been included in Bathurst Regional Council's latest submission to a parliamentary inquiry into health.
The doctor, who is not identified, also wrote of continued bed block and lack of services.
"I was on call over the weekend, the busiest I can recollect, with bed block due to lack of open, staffed beds," they said.
"This results directly from previous poor planning, previous lack of recognition of bed shortages and now the problem of elderly, frail and chronically ill people living at home requiring admission because of falls and other frailty related illness."
The submission did not identify which weekend this account refers to, however, councillor Warren Aubin told the Western Advocate it was in early May.
The doctor said it was imperative for the number of beds to be increased due to the growing population, and more services and staff are desperately needed.
"There remains a profound lack of senior staff in Bathurst and the service remains supported in key areas by locums and fly-in-fly-out doctors," they said.
"There have been no new services introduced since the opening of the new hospital 12 years ago, and some services have been lost.
"... Morale is poor, the administration is perceived to be only interested in saving money and the culture prevents improvements and innovation by frontline staff. The insatiable desire for information to be entered into cumbersome IT data systems turns highly trained doctors, nursing and allied health staff into data entry clerks and reduces productivity."
They said the hospital system needs "genuine reform" to achieve better outcomes, and to help Bathurst continue to attract new industry.
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