Incentives needed to solve crisis

Mayor Ray Brown. Photo Chinchilla News archive.
Mayor Ray Brown. Photo Chinchilla News archive. Katie Lingard

THE Southern Downs is not alone in crying out for more doctors, with surrounding regions also begging for help to keep their health sectors afloat.

Western Downs Mayor Ray Brown said the region's medical facilities were on the brink of crumbling if more doctors did not move to the area.

"There is no regularity in doctors, which is very hard with families and for longevity. We need doctors who are permanently placed here and who are a part of our community," Cr Brown said.

"The doctors we have, we're working them to death which means they're not going to stay."

Across the other side of the Gap, Beaudesert general practitioner Michael Rice said thanks to government incentives, Beaudesert no longer had doctor shortage issues.

"We did suffer from a doctor shortage but the introduction of federal-based incentives, such as the rural retention payment program and the 10-year moratorium, have worked very well in Beaudesert, proving that appropriate incentives can be very effective," Dr Rice said.

As a GP that saw a region go from lacking doctors to having enough, Dr Rice said the government needed to step up.

"The message is that incentives attract and if the state and federal government are serious about bringing doctors into regional Australia, they need to be prepared to pay."

Topics:  doctors incentives medical ray brown

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