GP shortage sparks health concerns
A CREDIBLE solution to the ongoing rural doctor shortage across Australia needs to be addressed now, the Portland District Health’s chief executive officer said, or the effects will be felt for generations.
PDH boss Christine Giles said there has been a steady decline in suitable general practitioners (GP) in Portland in the past 10 years, including the departure of Tristar Medical Group’s last remaining doctor, which has forced the clinic to close.
“The GP workforce in Portland is getting older and the internationally-trained doctors are relocating,” Ms Giles said
“Over the last decade, we’ve had a steady decline of GPs; six years ago Tristar has six doctors and now it’s closing down.
“At least another three are leaving Portland in the next six months.
“We just don’t have the ability to find suitably qualified doctors.”
Ms Giles said the doctor shortage in Portland has seen a 15% increase in patients to the hospital’s emergency department in the past 12 months.
The ongoing general practitioner shortage in Portland could have long-lasting flow-on effects on the community, as health care needs are not met, she said.