Mission Memorial Hospital is run by the GPs of Mission, but there had been a steady reduction in the number of doctors providing care to either their own patients in hospital, or to the significant number of patients that either have a doctor that does not maintain privileges at the hospital or who were functionally unattached.
The attrition in these numbers was increasing and in early 2011 it was recognised that a temporary measure was required to be put in place while a long term solution was identified. The Ministry of Health stepped up and worked with the Mission Division to provide some additional funding that enabled the continued provision of a Doctor of the Day (DOD) service. The Division then contributed to the research that identified a list of issues that threatened a sustainable DOD program.
The resulting finance, worked out by the Ministry and the GPSC, has enabled the Division to address the major issue of payment for providing services to the In-Patients. The Division drew together almost all of its members to discuss the best way to apportion the available funding and an agreement was reached to pool some of the stipends with the per-patient and per-hospital funds. The resulting program provides more GP attendance in the hospital.
As part of the new working arrangements, the Division has worked with the hospital management and nurses to enhance the working relationships on the wards to enable all parties – including the patients, of course – to benefit from simpler, better coordinated communications which reduces the stress placed on all parties.