23 Jul 2021
A chronic shortage of GPs, specialists and registrars in Central Queensland will be high on the agenda when AMA Queensland President Chris Perry meets Rockhampton doctors tomorrow [Fri 23 July].
Professor Perry said regional healthcare providers were facing growing challenges, with practices closing and doctors retiring.
“The ongoing shortage of medical professionals is exacerbated by Australia’s closed borders because overseas-trained doctors can’t fill any vacant positions,” he said.
Central Queensland Local Medical Association representative Dr Michael Donohue said a wide range of issues were plaguing acute and primary health service in the area, including a shortage of COVID vaccines.
“We have a persistent lack of paediatricians, ENT specialists, neurologists, rheumatologists, geriatric specialists and others,” Dr Donohue said.
“We also need more local hospital beds and additional radiology services.”
With more than a third of Queenslanders living in regional and remote communities, Professor Perry urged the state government to invest more into delivering maternity, mental health and pain management programs outside the big cities.
“AMA Queensland’s Budget submission called for a $6.25 million package to properly fund these services but successive governments keep short-changing regional patients,” he said.
Published: 23 Jul 2021