A plan to provide a higher level of medical treatment to MIA residents suffering from ear, nose and throat issues is underway by the city's private hospital.
St Vincent's Private Community Hospital are planning to expand their ear, nose and throat (ENT) treatment services to allow more patients to access localised treatment without the need to travel to Sydney.
The hospital's current service sees two specialists visit the hospital on an irregular basis, with plans to bring a specialist to the city every fortnight as the hospital looks to expand the service.
ENT specialist Dr Brett Leavers visits the hospital for two days a month and said an expansion of the service will allow for more people to avoid long trips out of the region for smaller issues.
"St Vincent's in Sydney is a major referral centre for a lot of the regional areas," Dr Leavers said.
'There's a certain amount of very meaningful contribution we can make [here] ... not everyone needs complex surgery, some people need more routine surgery and that can be done here hopefully.
"We're ready and willing in terms of providing the time and we've got the basic equipment we need to provide a good startup service and we're hoping to expand on that."
Dr Leavers said the expanded service plans to be running in full by 2021 - provided the current coronavirus pandemic does not force further restrictions and delays - with smaller, routine surgeries also being planned to occur at the hospital.
To expand the service, the hospital has sought support from the local community to raise $60,000 to help purchase equipment such as a specialised examination chair, a ENT microscope and endoscopy equipment for the clinic and operating theatres.
St Vincent's general manager and director of clinical services Gabrielle Wood said the service has been regularly used since the two specialists - Dr Leavers and Associate Professor Richard Gallagher - began visiting the region last year, filling a need for ENT services in the MIA.
"ENT has been well under-serviced in this area for a long time and that's just purely because the availability of specialists," Ms Wood said.
"The couple we have over in Wagga and Canberra are inundated. We've recognised that there is a need for ENT services and with leverage from St Vincent's in Sydney we're able to engage with the ENT department in Sydney.
"We have started off quite well, we've started to bed down that service and we're really looking to expand on that."
Ms Wood said one of the major aims behind the expansion was to keep treatment as local as possible.
"We're looking at setting up a service which is complimentary to patients requiring surgeries in Sydney," Ms Wood said.
"We want to keep people home and local for their treatments when possible - even if that sometimes that service is just being able to have your follow-up appointments and your pre-consulting appointments in Griffith."
If you wish to contribute to the hospital's push for their ENT services, you can do so by visiting here or by calling 1800 800 595.