Australian Enterprise Awards 2023

Access to healthcare is one of the fundamental pillars of modern society. Of course, that is often easier said than done, especially when it comes to the most rural of populations. Fittingly, Bridge Medical offers that vital bridge between these rural communities and vital healthcare services. We spoke with Practice Business Manager Fiona Redfern following the centre’s well-deserved win in the programme. Best Rural Family Healthcare Centre 2023 - New South Wales We often think about healthcare in a vacuum, assuming reasonable access to those services for those that use them and discussing them with that assumption in hand. Of course, that often ignores the incredible work for those healthcare services that work diligently and restlessly to serve communities that are often removed from larger populations – those rural towns and villages that are off the beaten track. Bridge Medical is one such healthcare service, as Fiona explains. “Bridge Medical is unique in the services it offers to the district of Narrabri and its dedication to growing and developing trainee doctors within the practice. The origins of Bridge Medical Centre date back to the 1860s and has continued to grow and diversify the services it offers to accommodate the changing needs of our community. We have two full-time GPs (who own and run the business) and five nurses within the practice. Dr Rohana Wanasinghe provides GP care to the patients of the practice, Narrabri District Hospital and Narrabri’s two residential aged care facilities, as well as being Narrabri’s only GP surgeon. Dr Dilini Pathiratne also provides GP care within the practice, as well as having a dedicated interest in workplace medicals for the local agricultural, rail, coal and gas industries.” Ultimately, this focus to not only best serve its community but also ensure a robust continuation has served to distinguish Bridge Medical from its contemporaries and guarantee its selection in the programme. To put it more simply, there are few others in this sphere that are achieving the goals that Bridge Medical has achieved. “The unique selling point of Bridge Medical Centre is its enthusiasm to grow and change with the changing demands with our patient demographic.” It almost goes without saying that the centre’s values align perfectly with its core mission – namely, a dedication to the highest standard of patient care and illness management. “We promote health, wellbeing and disease prevention to all patients, regardless of sex, gender or racial backgrounds. We treat all patients with dignity and respect. We believe these values, combined with our highly trained, caring and professional staff contribute to the success of our business, and more importantly the continued provision of excellent care to our patients.” When it comes to the future of the centre, Bridge Medical aims to expand on its strong start, and reinforce its position and services in the greater community, as Fiona explains in her closing comments. “Bridge Medical Centre is very excited about the future as we continue to try to expand our services and suitably trained staff, meeting local demand and tackling the difficult task of encouraging GP’s to rural Australia. It is Dr Wanasinghe and Pathiratne’s greatest desire to encourage more doctors to the bush and provide the community with a basis for continued care when the time comes for them to step away from full-time employment. “From purchasing the business in 2019, with a staff of two GPs and three administrative staff, Bridge Medical Centre has expanded into new premises to accommodate our current staff of two GPs, five nurses and seven administrative staff. Bridge Medical has hosted four GP Synergy registrars and two IMG’s (International Medical Graduates), meaning we have had up to five GPs within the practice at certain times. Our patient demographic continues to grow, as we adjust our services to meet demand from within the community. All while continuing to provide high level care to our patients.” Company: BRIDGE MEDICAL CENTRE Email: [email protected] Web Address: Address: 98 Maitland Street, Narrabri NSW 2390 Telephone: 02 6792 1055 Jan23006