The committee charged with recruiting and retaining medical specialists in Wagga will take aim at the remaining gaps in treatment during its next three-year term.
Riverina Medical Specialist Recruitment and Retention Committee chair, associate professor Nick Stephenson, told The Daily Advertiser that its priorities changed according to need.
"There are always specialties that are difficult to recruit for, and we will keep working on those and some others," he said.
"Our particular focus right now is on ENT (ears, nose and throat) and vascular surgery and gastroenterology, as we have a critical shortage in those to have sustainable service levels."
The committee believes it has been successful over the 15 years it has been operating, during which the number of medical practitioners in Wagga has tripled.
Professor Stephenson said there was "absolutely no doubt" that Wagga was now "a major medical centre".
"Fewer patients are having to leave the city and region for treatment," he said.
Committee manager and Calvary recruitment specialist Joy Ross said Wagga now had better access to paediatric surgery, liver and kidney specialists and oncologists for cancer treatment.
"Every specialist who has visited Wagga has been blown away by what we have to offer in the private and public consulting rooms and medical schools," she said.
Ms Ross said Wagga's challenges in recruitment were getting past preconceptions about regional NSW, helping the partners of specialists find work nearby and promoting Wagga's secondary schools.
Professor Stephenson said most people's treatment benefited from not having to travel long distances.
"People deteriorate when they are travelling and they end up a long way from family support," he said.
"Particularly with cancer patients, that can have a huge psychological impact and that does affect their cancer outcomes and quality of life."
Wagga City Council on Monday approved a $10,000 contribution per year to the committee, adding to the majority of funding coming from its medical services and education members.
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