Category Archives: BHAG News

VMO Recruitment … good news

We are pleased to be able to advise that there has been significant progress in the process to recruit Visiting Medical Officers (VMOs) to the Bellinger River District Hospital.

The first advertisement has appeared on the NSW Health’s website. This is the first of a series of rolling advertisements.  Each advertisement will have a one month cut off date to allow MNCLHD to assess applications.  The position will then be re-advertised.

Applicants are no longer limited to working in the Emergency Department, but can choose ED, Inpatient or a combination of both.  The inflexibility of the pre-existing VMO contract was a major stumbling block for prospective VMOs.

BHAG will continue to monitor the situation and meet with the MNCLHD on a regular basis.  Assuming that all goes to plan, we should not have to email the community again for some time.

Thank you for your continued support. None of this would have happened if the community had not stepped up, signing the petition, attending meetings and spreading the word.  We should congratulate ourselves, and the doctors, nurses and medical staff at the hospital for their commitment.  The Bellingen community is truly a force to be reckoned with!

The beautiful Bellinger Valley
The beautiful Bellinger Valley

Apply for a GP Visiting Medical Officer position at Bellinger River District Hospital

(You will be directed to the NSW Health Job Vacancy site)

For further information email Dr Derek Bell, Chair of the Medical Staff Council

Want to know more about our beautiful region? 
Bellingen, Urunga, Dorrigo, Sawtell, Coffs Harbour and more …
Bellingen, Dorrigo & Urunga on Facebook
Community Information – about Bellingen Shire
Things to do in the Bellingen Shire

BHAG 2021 AGM – Monday 12th July, 2021

BHAG AGM Advertisement 2021 website

To nominate for a position on the BHAG Committee:

  1. Download the fillable pdf Nomination Form below.
  2. Obtain written nominations from two current committee members.
  3. Complete the acceptance section of the Nomination Form.
  4. Forward it to the BHAG Secretary, PO Box 120, Bellingen NSW 2454, email to or bring to the AGM on 12 July, 2021

2021 BHAG AGM Nomination Form for Office Bearer

Farewell Barbara Moore …

Sadly, Barbara Moore the founding president of the Bellinger Health Action Group died last week at the Bellinger River District Hospital.

Barb was a woman of many talents.  She was a prolific baker, a legendary propagator,
a champion of native flora and a supremely efficient organiser.

We will remember her for her energy and dedication, for her obsessive attention to detail and for her ability to scare the daylights out of politicians and senior government officials in order to obtain the best outcome for our community.

Barb, you will be missed …

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Let’s keep up the pressure!

Meeting at St Andrews HallThe community meeting at St. Andrew’s Hall on 03 June was a great success with around 40 people attending. 

Several weeks ago Dr Andrew Heslop released details of the VMO issue to the public and the media via Facebook and various other media platforms.  The good news is that the resulting social media storm appears to have pressured the MNCLHD into engaging more co-operatively with the VMOs.  

The MNCLHD has now agreed to flexible contracts, is meeting with local doctors who have expressed interest in working at the hospital, and is in discussion with the Agency for Clinical Innovation  who’s stated mission is to “bring patients, clinicians and managers together to support the design and implementation of innovation in health care”

There was another VMO meeting last Wednesday and the first of a series of planned get togethers with prospective VMOs that evening.  Dr. Heslop hopes to have positive news for us within a couple of weeks. 

13 meeting attendees volunteered to be on standby in case the MNCLHD does not resolve the VMO shortage situation satisfactorily and the community needs to take further action via the media, and by writing to our elected representatives.  

This is all progress in the right direction.  However, this does not mean that the proposal to close the ED after hours has been withdrawn, and we need to keep up the pressure.

In the meantime, you can still sign the Getup petition by following this link:
Getup Petition

Let’s keep up the pressure!