Someone call a doctor … or 10 to the Heritage City
WIDE BAY MP Llew Obrien has responded saying the Distribution Priority Areas are based on the area's demographics and needs, and the doctor-to-population ratio; whether there are enough doctors to meet the needs of patients in an area.
"Access to healthcare in Wide Bay is a top priority for me, and I will continue to monitor the situation to ensure people in Maryborough continue to have access to the care they need," Mr O'Brien said.
"It's not an arbitrary decision made by the Federal Government, it's decided by the Department of Health based purely on facts and numbers," he said.
"Maryborough has more doctors per person than the national average, and a quick search of the HealthEngine website shows there are bulk-billed appointments readily available at several clinics, including at short notice."
THE need for more GPs on the Fraser Coast has resurfaced, this time with a call for the shortage to be urgently addressed in Maryborough.
It comes after a lack of doctors was blamed for the closure of the Bazaar St Medical Centre earlier this year.
Speaking to reporters in Maryborough on Wednesday morning, Queensland Senator Anthony Chisholm called on Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien to make the city a "Distribution Priority Area".
He said its current classification as a non-Distribution Priority Area made it hard for clinics to attract new doctors and patients to receive the care they needed.
"It is something the government needs to address, so far they've failed to do it," he said.
"My fear is it will be another 12 months before they actually look at fixing this problem."
Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said the issue had been regularly raised by Maryborough residents.
"We have to make sure we have the health facilities for the people," Mr Saunders said
"I want Llew to go in and talk to the health minister and push Maryborough's case.
"I asking him to stand up, be firm for the people of Maryborough."
Mr Saunders said the lack of GPs put more strain on the accident and emergency department at Maryborough Hospital as residents were going there to seek general treatment.
"The community is looking for extra doctors, the community is getting a bit cranky about waiting two or three weeks to see a GP," he said.
Mr O'Brien has been contacted for comment.
More to come.