Katherine GP Services ‐ Community update #5 – Arafura Medical Clinics to run interim service

Published on Monday, 9 November 2020 at 3:48:16 PM

NT Primary Health Network (NT PHN) has secured Darwin‐based GP practice, Arafura Medical Clinics to operate an interim GP service for Katherine.

Acting CEO Ms Le Smith said, “We have been working hard on short and long term solutions for a number of months to ensure Katherine residents have access to GP services, so are very pleased to be able to announce an interim service will be led by Arafura Medical Clinics.

Arafura Medical Clinics will host GPs we have identified through our advertising, as well as a receptionist and will provide the practice management system and supports needed to ensure a high-quality service. This is a great outcome.”

Full booking details, times, location and the range of services on offer will be confirmed in the near future.

Work on a longer‐term solution for Katherine is continuing in parallel to this. Discussions are in progress with parties who have expressed interest in running a GP service in Katherine.

Ms Smith said, “These discussions are quite advanced but commercial‐in‐confidence at this stage. As we understand it, no buyer has been secured for Gorge Health but there are other options in progress.”

NT PHN is also in contact with a number of allied health providers and visiting specialists to gauge their requirements in Katherine, in the hope that a multi‐disciplinary primary health care hub might be feasible in the longer term. This would have benefits to patients as well as providers.

In addition to the interim service, Katherine residents can continue to access the following services:

  • All emergency situations, go to the Katherine Hospital ED as you normally would
  • For routine appointments, you can access telehealth services by having one face‐to‐face appointment with a Darwin practice, which then gives you access to telehealth for up to 12 months
  • Additionally, you can access:
    • HealthNow after‐hours telehealth service available 6pm – 8am weekdays, after 12pm Saturday and all day Sunday/Public Holidays) – telephone 1800 931 165 (no cost)
    • Pharmasave Katherine (pharmacy services and able to provide medical certificates based on a medical assessment, cost $30.00)
    • Headspace telehealth services for youth aged 12 – 25 in partnership with Arafura Medical (available locally without travel to Darwin) ‐ telephone 8912 4000
    • Wurli Wurlinjang Aboriginal Corporation ‐ telephone 8972 9100 (eligible clients only)


Ms Smith said, “Anecdotally we have heard from Darwin‐based practices that the uptake of Katherine residents visiting a Darwin practice so they can then access telehealth from Katherine, has been good.

Whilst we know many people prefer a face to face consultation, this is a good option in the meantime for some residents.”

NT PHN will continue updates as soon as details of the interim Arafura Medical service is in place, as well as sharing progress on arrangements for a longer‐term service. Our media releases are available at www.ntphn.org.au/news



Contact: Cassandra Buckley, Marketing & Communications Manager, Ph: 8982 1041 M: 0448 800 438 E: cassandra.buckley@ntphn.org.au

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