GP shortage impacts another town

AS OF today, people in Howard must survive without a local GP.

The Monsour Medical Clinic, which operates in Maryborough, had been responsible for the practice.

Dr Michael Monsour confirmed the Howard centre would join his Tiaro operation in the casualty ward, after its closure was forced more than 12 months earlier.

He said the doors had to be shut because the region faced a GP shortage in parts.

For families like the Cullens, from Torbanlea, that GP shortage is a reality.

Mum, Rese, has two children both highly dependent on regular medical treatment.

Mia, 6, has a rare form of eczema that causes her to suffer infections easily and also has a condition called trichotillomania which sees her pull her hair out. Matthew, 8, has Asperger syndrome.

"I'm thinking about leaving," Ms Cullen said.

"I would see the doctor about every two weeks. (If we have to travel elsewhere) she will have to miss school.

"She just wants to be a normal kid but she has special needs, they both do, but they're my children and I love them."

The Howard Pharmacy will also suffer without a GP in town writing prescriptions, according to its owner of more than five years, Carol Robertson.

"We will lose most of the first round of prescriptions, if they see a doctor in town they are likely to get that first round there," Ms Robertson said.

"We do have a lot of very loyal customers who value the pharmacy and hopefully those customers will continue to come in."

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