Lee Duffield

Edited by Lee Duffield
Freedom and Truth

Doctor shortage on Brisbane outskirts

A doctor’s surgery at Dayboro, north-west of Brisbane, is struggling to meet patient demand, after having its services reduced to just one doctor.

The Dayboro Medical Centre has over 8,000 patients on its books and is the only doctor’s surgery in the town.

The practice usually has two doctors, but has been cut to just one after Dr Kate Mudie retired earlier this month.

Dr Mudie’s position has been advertised since October last year, along with a vacancy for another doctor to come on board at the practice.

Practice manager Lyn Sawdon said the surgery has gone to all measures to get another doctor, but has not been successful.

“We’re at the point where we are writing to all our patients and letting them know that if they are not in the direct postcode of Dayboro, they will need to go elsewhere,” she said.

“It’s not an ideal result, but our patient database has grown from 4,000 to 8,000 in a year.

“We have been advertising for doctors for nearly a year and we haven’t had anything.”

Local resident Phillip Weir said the waiting times for the surgery can be anywhere from two to four days for an appointment.

“I called up to get in for an appointment and was told the next one wouldn’t be for three days, if it wasn’t an emergency,” he said.

“Seems ridiculous considering how much growth the area is experiencing.”

The position for a doctor has also been listed with the Australian Medical Association in Queensland, but has failed to attract much attention.

AMA Queensland president Dr Gino Pecoraro said although it is an unfortunate situation, their situation is not dire yet.

“The worst case scenario would be that there was no doctor service at Dayboro,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that it is harder to get doctors to go to these areas, but the government needs to step in and provide better resources for doctors.”

Federal member for Dickson and shadow health minister Peter Dutton said that Federal Labor’s installation of GP Super Clinics was to blame.

“Dayboro is listed as an area of workforce shortage which needs assistance in the recruitment of doctors,” he said.

“But Labor’s GP Super Clinics in non-rural locations have also been designated as locations of workforce shortage, enabling them to compete with places like Dayboro in recruitment of doctors.

“It completely undermines attempts to attract doctors to areas like Dayboro.”

Mrs Sawdon said until they were able to fill the position, the practice was compromising the health care of their patients.

“We are just not able to fit all our patients in with just one doctor, and I feel like we are getting nowhere with the situation,” she said.