Opposition Leader Shane Love fears health services in regional communities could be cut after Silverchain announced it was moving away from its nursing post operations. WA Country Health Service will take responsibility of 11 remote area nursing posts (RANP) scattered in regional towns across WA, including Eneabba, Mingenew, Shark Bay and Leeman in the Mid West, after Silverchain, Australia’s leading home care provider, announced it was handing over the services in 2024. The service provides health care to remote communities who would otherwise need to travel to access hospital facilities. Mr Love said he was concerned the services won’t continue operating as they are and wanted answers as to how WACHS plans to run the posts. “We are very concerned and want assurance from WACHS that these centres will not be left high and dry when Silverchain withdraw,” he said. In Parliament on Wednesday, November 29, Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies asked if Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson would guarantee the level of staffing for in-person services would be maintained at the posts, but no guarantee was received. “Like many services across regional and remote Western Australia, they are very expensive to run, but people have a right to access this service,” Ms Sanderson said. “The aim, of course, will be to maintain services. Hopefully, all those staff will want to come over to WACHS, bearing in mind that some of those staff have worked for Silverchain for some time.” In Eneabba on Monday, a forum was held to formalise the closure of the support committee, who previously had raised funds to support the Silverchain operation. The local service runs three days a week as well as an on-call service. Without it, residents would need to travel 70km to Three Springs to access the nearest medical service. Shire president Merle Isbister said it was hard to tell what would happen to the local nursing post and residents were worried about the future of their local healthcare facility. “I have been advised by WACHS that they will continue to deliver the services that are currently provided by Silverchain and that’s all we can speculate,” she said. “At the moment, we have to trust that WACHS will deliver on their commitment to provide the same services that Silverchain is providing.” A Silverchain spokesperson said WACHS was best-placed to support the RANP service and they were working together to ensure a smooth transition. “Silverchain has a very proud history of providing regional care, and will continue to, however this transition aligns to our core specialisation as a home and community care provider,” the spokesperson said. “Silverchain is greatly appreciative of the dedication and hard work that our remote area nursing post employees have provided to these communities over the many years and we’re thankful for the support these communities have provided us over that time.” In a November statement, WACHS said there would be no impact to services and the community could continue to access care as normal. “As is the case across all our sites, we will work closely with these communities to make sure our service meets their needs,” it stated.