The Medical Directions Success Story

By Melinda McCarthy published on 11/03/2024 Medical Directions /

At Medical Directions our purpose is simple – we nurture and grow medical teams to meet the needs of the community.

In this blog we shine the spotlight on some of our successes, identifying how Health Services and doctors benefit from effective workforce solutions.

Case Study #1 - Broken Hill NSW


Broken Hill Hospital is a multi-functionary regional hospital serving the community of Broken Hill as well as its surrounding areas in the Far West of New South Wales. The Emergency Department had a very high number of patients presenting through the ED, which could have been managed through General Practice services. As a result, Emergency Department resources were stretched to handle the workload and patients experienced long wait periods for treatment.

Medical Directions was engaged by the Far West Local Health District to provide a workforce solutions strategy to tackle the problem.

Our Approach

  • Presentation data was analysed to determine the ratio of General Practice type presentations and the cost-benefit in providing a dedicated GP service;
  • Medical Directions in partnership with The Health Service established a Fast Track Clinic, within the hospital to treat general practice-type presentations;
  • A strategic market mapping, networking, and advertising campaign was developed by Medical Directions to source suitable skilled doctors
  • A managed roster based on safety, effectiveness, and sustainability was implemented


  • After identifying suitable locally based and interstate doctors, Medical Directions recruited permanent GPs in addition to FIFO doctors who provide quality health care services in the newly established Fast Track Clinic
  • Patients now receive care in a timely fashion with wait times significantly reduced
  • Patients are now treated in an appropriate setting by the highest-quality clinicians
  • The community now enjoys better health outcomes
  • The Emergency Department achieved workflow efficiencies
  • The Fast Track Clinic averaging 30 presentations per day

Case Study #2 - Mudgee NSW


Historically, the Mudgee Hospital Emergency Department was run as a GP VMO facility, wherein GPs from the local practice were rostered on to cover the ED, being called by nursing staff as and when patients presented. Due to increased presentation numbers, it became unviable for local GPs to continue to juggle patient consults in the clinic with on-call responsibilities for emergency department presentations.

Local GPs opted to withdraw coverage from the hospital. This left the hospital in a predicament as until this point, the hospital had never needed to recruit directly for medical staff. 

Recruitment efforts were unrewarding, and the hospital ended up relying on short-term FIFO locums to provide medical cover for the facility. The locums were rostered on for 24 hours, being on-site during the day and on-call overnight. The presentation numbers continued to rise, and it became increasingly difficult to find locums willing to accept shifts, due to the long hours and heavy workload. The cost to the hospital was very high, there was no guarantee of rosters being covered and there was an increased administrative burden due to the high number of medical staff rotating through the shifts. 

Our Approach

  • Create an improved model to stabilise the medical workforce in the region
  • A strategic market mapping, networking, and advertising campaign was executed to encourage and identify suitable doctors
  • A two-shift model was implemented and worked for many years
  • Eventually, as ED presentations continued to increase and with feedback from doctors, the model was amended to include an additional day shift during weekends


  • Since 2013 Medical Directions has recruited and managed a permanent and locum workforce for the Emergency Department, covering 4200 shifts at a 92% fill rate
  • There was keen interest and participation from doctors outside the local area to provide coverage in the ED so they could maintain their ED skills. Locally based doctors agreed to share the night cover. Medical Directions were flexible in supporting this change to ensure local doctors were being prioritised
  • Mudgee Hospital now enjoys a roster filled with a cohort of local doctors which both the community and facility benefit from
  • Ownership of the roster has been returned to the local management team with Medical Directions retaining a roster line one week in two for night shifts

Our specialty is collaborating with Health Services whilst collaborating under the facility's robust clinical framework, ensuring the quality and safety of clinical care for patients no matter where they live.

How Do Doctors Benefit from Working with Medical Directions?

Because our models are primarily set up for doctors to engage in ongoing work, rather than ad hoc locums, doctors can provide continuity of care, enjoy peace of mind with job security and instead of spending time chasing locums, can focus on their clinical work.

We are proud of our ability to create the right clinical environments for doctors to truly own their jobs. If you are a doctor wanting to know more about the benefits of working with Medical Directions, we'd love to hear from you. Contact Naomie Rapira on 0498 441 118 or email [email protected]

Alternatively, talk to us about your workforce needs. With 15 years of experience in the healthcare space, we understand the operational, clinical and governance complexities that come with running a department or clinic.

General Manager Costa Intzirlis +61 428 777 717 or [email protected]

Business Operation Manager Barrie Hinton +61 2 412 774 817 or [email protected]

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