Skipton residents are hopeful that their much-loved GP Dr Mohammed Al Naima will soon be back consulting at their local health service, despite concern they still cannot book appointments with him.
About 160 community members rallied outside Skipton Health Service on Monday afternoon in support of the doctor who has been locked out of the hospital and medical clinic amid a dispute over his Medicare provider number.
Last week the Beaufort and Skipton Health Service board said Dr Al Naima could practice at the Skipton clinic for two days a week once billing requirements were verified in relation to his Medicare Provider Number and he agreed to abide by his contractual arrangements.
But on Tuesday locals rang the clinic trying to book an appointment only to be told he was not there.
“People are trying to ring up to get an appointment with Dr Mohammed and they can’t because there’s no scheduled time for him to come back,” said community spokesman Nick Shady.
An independent review will take place during the coming weeks to examine the issues between Dr Al Naima and the health service.
A meeting of the Beaufort and Skipton Health Service board was held late Tuesday with Department of Health and Human Services representatives and community representatives present.
One participant described the meeting as productive and expressed confidence in the independent review process.
Dr Al Naima has worked at Beaufort and Skipton Health Service for more than three years.
Residents said they wanted Dr Al Naima reinstated not just for the two days offered but for the four days he had been working before the issues came to a head.
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