Ask GPs not pollies how to get more doctors to the region

Forum –

Lucy Wicks (Federal Member for Robertson) has form, when it comes to promising new jobs for the Central Coast.

Does anybody remember the thousands of new jobs that were going to be generated by the ATO building in Gosford?

One can only conjecture about where they all went: no doubt, they were swallowed up in the murky property dealings that accompanied that particular transaction.

Now, she assures us that 33 new medical practitioners are going to be located in Central Coast, miraculously evenly distributed across the region and starting work this month.

Wonders will never cease!

Not only that, but the Primary Health Network is working like fury to increase the number of doctors still further, except that, unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be anything to show for their efforts, if common experience is any guide.

Emma McBride is quite right that there is a shortage of local doctors (“Doctor shortage is real and risky says McBride”, Chronicle p25 Aug 18), and all the Pollyanna statements from Wicks won’t change that.

When it takes weeks to get an appointment with a GP whom one has been consulting for decades, it is clear that medical capabilities are strained beyond reasonable limits.

If there is any doubt about it, let Ms Wicks try to get an appointment with a practice where she is not already a registered patient and see what success she has.

As someone with a family member in exactly that situation, I can confirm that she will have to search long and hard, and will be lucky to find a doctor within any reasonable distance of her residence.

It is obvious that Lucy Wicks’ “relocation and retention initiatives” aren’t working worth a damn: that is a simple fact, but she has nothing to offer beyond more of the same that hasn’t worked before, whereas we need ideas from outside the box.

Whether a Senate Inquiry will achieve anything beyond scoring a few cheap political points is highly doubtful.

The Health Department seems sunk in a slough of despond, with nothing innovative to propose.

Why don’t we ask local GPs what they would suggest as necessary to recruit new doctors to Central Coast?

Of course, it’s always dangerous to ask questions of people who might know what they’re talking about: the answers might not be politically palatable.

Email, Aug 21
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy