9 April, 2022
Rural health crisis hits Gilgandra
After five weeks closed without a doctor, Brenshaw Medical Centre Gilgandra has finally reopened last week.
The centre’s only doctor, Dr Harrison, had
time off due to contracting pneumonia. When
he came back initially, “he still just wasn’t feeling
his best, so took a bit of time off.
Unfortunately, that led us to having no doctor.”
said practice manager Amanda Anforth.
No doctor on board meant no consultations,
and the practice had to close temporarily.
Brenshaw tried to find a replacement doctor
however were unsuccessful.
“We had about 29 different agencies with
ads out for doctors,” said Miss Anforth.
“We had a couple of potential doctors come
with interest, however chose to take positions
elsewhere. There were definitely multiple issue
affecting these choices.”
According to Miss Anforth, Brenshaw had
staff in the clinic at certain times, however due
to no revenue, they had to cut them right back.
“It just wasn’t financially feasible.”
But the impact doesn’t just stop at the centres
closure. Five weeks without a doctor meant
patients were forced to go elsewhere.
“Our patients simply needed a doctor,” said
“We are still booking a reasonable amount
of appointments every day now, but it has
encouraged a lot of our patients to attend other
Dr Harrison is back in clinic now, as the
supervisor for new doctor, Dr Sasika De Silva.
“She’s recently finished her studies and is
new to practicing so needs a supervisor onsite,
but is able to manage patients care all the
After six months of supervision from Dr
Harrison, Dr Sasika will remain at Brenshaw
fulfilling patients needs.
Brenshaw Medical is one of the many medical practices that have been affected by the ongoing rural health crisis. The inquiry into rural health officially wrapped up earlier this year, and an outcome is still pending.