Coober Pedy Hospital has access to doctors on a 24/7 on-call basis to provide patient and emergency care.
On Saturday morning, the on-call doctor became unwell which meant he was unable to carry out his duties.
Skilled nursing staff continued to provide patient assessment and care, and they were supported by a number of arrangements to ensure they could access medical advice for patients when required.
As soon as the Coober Pedy doctor became ill, arrangements were put in place with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, who committed to providing medical support for patients at Coober Pedy Hospital, when required.
Additionally, since Monday, a locum doctor working at Umoona Tjutagku Health has agreed to help with emergencies.
Coober Pedy Hospital also has access to the South Australian Virtual Emergency Service (SAVES), which operates between the hours of 11pm and 7am and enables country patients to conduct face-to-face consults with doctors at the Rural Doctors Workforce Agency in Adelaide using videoconferencing equipment.
MedStar also accesses the SAVES equipment, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in order to support nursing staff when they are treating very unwell patients.
We have secured the services of another doctor, who is expected to provide services at the medical practice and the hospital from Wednesday afternoon.
We thank Coober Pedy residents and those from surrounding districts for their patience and understanding during this unforeseen situation.
Anyone who is acutely unwell should dial 000 in order to access emergency services.
Country Health SA’s Regional Director Eyre and Far North, Wayne Champion: Tuesday 22 May 2018