Health | January 03, 2018

Kealy – urgent action needed to address rural doctor shortage

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP has again asked in Parliament what action the Andrews Labor Government is taking to address the critical doctor shortage in rural Victoria.

Ms Kealy raised the matter in Parliament in a question to the Minister for Health, Hon. Jill Hennessy during the last sitting week in December.

“Country Victoria is in the grips of a critical shortage of General Practitioners and it is having a huge impact on our local people,” Ms Kealy said.

“At least nine doctors have left Horsham in the last twelve months, resulting in patients waiting for over a month for a routine medical appointment,” she said.

Early in 2017 Lister House reported that the loss of doctors has meant the amount of people able to be seen in one day had halved from 350 to 175.

This in turn is placing a huge burden on the Wimmera Base Hospital, with emergency presentations over the same period increasing by more than 23%.

“People who rely on prescription medication to manage their health are unable to get an appointment to see a local doctor. They are being forced to either skip medication, travel great distances to see a doctor unfamiliar with their history, or end up in the Emergency Department putting a huge strain on our public health system”, Ms Kealy said.

“The city-centric Andrews Labor Government hasn’t taken any action to address the critical doctor shortage in regional Victoria, resulting is worsening healthcare,” she said.

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