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Federal Member for Dobell at Wyong Hospital Emergency Department which has been packed with locals who cant get a doctor’s appointment. Federal Member for Dobell at Wyong Hospital Emergency Department which has been packed with locals who cant get a doctor’s appointment. Featured
17 September 2021 Posted by 


Coast doctor shortage becoming critical
THE Central Coast doctor shortage is reaching chronic proportions with many patients unable to get an appointment and  forced to seek treatment at hospital emergency departments.
Federal Member for Dobell Emma McBride is leading the outcry for locals to make urgent submissions to a Senate Inquiry into the shortage.
Ms McBride said it was vital as many locals as possible make submissions to the inquiry by the end of September. She will be providing her own detailed submission to the vital inquiry.
The Senate inquiry into the provision of general practitioner and related primary health services to outer metropolitan, rural and regional Australians is accepting submissions, but the problem is it is not scheduled to present its report until next year
“Getting in to see a GP has never been tougher on the Central Coast,” she said.
“That’s why I called for a Public Inquiry into GP shortages. It’s well past time that Coasties had better access to healthcare.
Central Coast doctor Brad Cranney told the ABC it was simply too long to wait until the report came out and that action needs to be taken now.
"The situation has now become a crisis level," he told the ABC.
"It's not uncommon for our four surgeries to turn away 200 patients a day. We're just struggling to maintain patient appointments.
"There's often been a gridlock of ambulances waiting outside hospital emergency departments because they are unable to unload their patients.
“I believe a lot of this stems back to a shortage of GPs."
The inquiry will look at the state of regional GPs and related services, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on doctor shortages.
And it will examine the Distribution Priority Areas (DPA) system, which identifies locations where people struggle to access doctors.
International medical graduates who are GPs need to work in a DPA to access Medicare.
An area is automatically classified as a DPA when it is in the Northern Territory or classified under the Modified Monash Model, which measures remoteness and population size.
"Unless we can improve conditions for GPs in Australia, we're still going to have a situation where Australian medical students don't do general practice," Dr Cranney said.
"We're reliant on overseas trained doctors to fill these general practice positions."
Dr Cranney says more areas in the NSW northern region, where his four practices are based, should be classified as DPAs.
"I believe that we have a far greater shortage of GPs in the northern part of the coast," he said.
Ms McBride said her growing population was being overlooked.
"There's some places like Terrey Hills that are a priority area, whereas places like Toukley and Gorokan aren't," she said.
“I will be making a full submission to inquiry and I am urging as  many locals as possible to tell their story by making a submission.”
State Member for Wyong and Shadow Minister for the Central Coast David Harris has backed Ms McBride’s fierce advocacy on behalf of Coast patients.
“This is a big issue and It has to be fixed. We need more GPs,” he said.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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Central Coast Business Access (CCBA) covers the business and community issues of the NSW Central Coast region. CCBA is a prime media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities.